Wallace | Two Weeks

Two weeks already!! Still riding the new baby high around here, although it's seeming more real and obviously not perfect. Nate went back to work on Tuesday of this week, so my reality check hit this week. Turns out taking care of four kids can be somewhat chaotic, who knew? I mean, it wasn't too awful but there were certainly several times when Porter was crying, Cecelia was pouting, Truman was not listening, and Wallace needed to eat or be held or walk around. Luckily, even on Nate's super long twelve hour day on Wednesday, we all survived just fine.

Hand-me-down clothes from big brothers = the best!
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Muscle man
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Lois helped out by taking just Porter to the park, while the big kids were at daycamp. Porter needed that 1:1 time with his grandma and I thoroughly enjoyed my Wallace time! Then the big kids went to play putt putt golf with Tony during Porter's nap on Wednesday, which was also awesome for them (and everyone, really). On Thursday, Lois picked Truman and Cecelia up from Nate's golf camp and then she took Porter and Cecelia to a playground. Wallace, Truman and I hung out for awhile and then went to get Jimmy Johns for lunch as a treat. Friday was Nate's half day at work so we loved having him home around lunch time (duh) and obviously the weekends are the BEST ever.

Golfers!
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We had several visitors this week and two meals were dropped off for dinners, as some of my friends have set up a meal train website thing for us. We've definitely never had that type of organized meal delivery from our friends but it's oh, so appreciated. In fact, Nate and I were saying the other day that we feel even more supported and surrounded by amazing friends this fourth time around compared to the first time around---without a doubt. Basically, we have a wonderful network of neighbors and friends and family that are a part of our beloved 'village' and we do not take it for granted!

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Wallace is still fairly sleepy overall but I can tell he is staying awake for longer stretches now and might need a *little* more work to get him to fall asleep. He is usually napping for at least one mega nap each day---sometimes in the morning, sometimes afternoon----but that big dog nap will last about 3 hours or more. INSANE. The rest of the time he will be awake for maybe 30-45 minutes at a time, mostly content, and then will snooze for about an hour or so after that. He definitely prefers to fall asleep nursing, or will sleep while being held or on my chest. Actually, he is sleeping on my chest as I type this and I admit it's pretty much my favorite thing EVER. Gah, just the weight of him on me, with his little head under my chin? Yes, please. He also really likes the Ergo and the Moby wrap for being on the go and cuddling with me while sleeping.

Truman took this picture and we are both asleep here! Truman then woke me up by tapping me on the shoulder to say, 'I took your picture, mom. Because you guys looked really cute.'
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I think he might be starting to show some preference to me versus other people, but that's understandable since Wallace and I are basically attached to each other at all times. Tomorrow I am taking the two big kids to the doctor for their very late well child checks and Porter will stay with Wallace and my in-laws. I'm nervous to leave mister Ace man but know he will be mostly fine without me for 1.5 hours. My best tip for my in-laws will be: hold him, walk around with him, keep him moving, and maybe he will just sleep the entire time anyway.

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At night he is in the Mamaroo and will give us about 3-4 hour stretches at a time, usually waking just twice to eat. But of course, last night was different and he ate every two hours, so who knows? I'm liking being back in my own bed instead of the couch, but I am going to move the cosleeper away from the bed and just use the swing tonight---the cosleeper and sleeping flat in general are not Wallace's preferred methods. At all.

He's nursing well overall and has started cluster feeding in the evening hours. He'll normally go about 2 hours between feedings depending on naps but in the evening he mostly likes to switch from side to side non-stop, with only a little cat napping in between there. Not spitting up a ton but he definitely likes to be burped after feeding on one side, sometimes waking up enough to eat on both sides but sometimes just plugging away for 30 minutes on one. I pumped for the first time yesterday morning and got 5 ounces in about 4 minutes, during his morning mega nap. Of course he woke up as SOON as I was finished pumping, but then he was patient enough to nurse and wait for more milk to come in from me. So I think my supply must be a good fit for him, with only some coughing and choking during let down.

Selfies are hard with five people.
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Me and my guy. And yes, my eyes still look like this, two weeks later.
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Ace is still super chill and content and I'm trying my hardest not just roll with it, without bracing myself for it to change. I mean, maybe he will become cranky and fussy and harder to handle but for NOW he is freaking awesome. He seems more alert and loves to look around the house, especially at our windows and the TV. Fourth babies are surely exempt from the 'no TV until age two' rule, right? ;) I don't think he can see that far in front of his face but he does seem to look right at you, or right at the big kids as they hold him, like he's trying to figure out who these loud creatures are and why they are always yelling. For as laid back as he is, Wallace does nap the best when nobody else is around, go figure.

HANDSOME.
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He did cry in his car seat twice this week, was sort of hysterical and the most we've ever heard out of him. But at least it's not EVERY time or immediately upon getting in the seat. Porter and Cecelia both had a severe hatred of their car seats and it was already happening consistently by two weeks. Wallace also seems more grunty lately, like he is working hard to poop or needs to burp while nursing or right after---I remember the other kids getting super loud and grunting a lot, too, and since it's not constant I won't really read too much into this one yet.

The siblings are still in love with Ace and literally fight over who is going to hold him. Truman keeps saying that he's so glad Wallace is here and is my biggest helper by far, Cecelia calls him her best friend and would hold him twenty times a day if he didn't nurse so much, and Porter gives the best big brother kisses ever. We are still working on Porter being gentle and not poking Wallace's eyes, or sticking his fingers in Wallace's mouth, but overall Ports has done great with his baby brother. I'm just really proud of all three big kids and it's crazy how huge they all seem to us now!

This was when Cecelia told me she likes that Wallace doesn't talk yet, because he is so quiet. Then she looked longingly at Porter...
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And I mean...
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Seven year age difference is boggling my mind
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The dynamic between all of our kids is interesting and changing by the day. Even just having them home for the summer is enough change to shift things around a little, forcing me to implement some rules that don't really apply during the school year. Then throw in a new baby to the mix? It's a learning process for everyone! But so far, I've decided that 1. If you hit/push/punch/etc then it's an automatic 24 hours without screen, 2. You must ask to get up from the lunch and dinner table, 3. Kids have to clean up their disastrous toy explosion every evening before we head upstairs for bedtime. These three rules seem to be helping the constant battles but there are still plenty of times when someone is crying or whining. That said: summertime is still the BEST and we are enjoying it so so much!

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These three at 'dozer days' in a giant firetruck. So fun!
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And our lemonade stand, where Wallace and I sweat like crazy and the big kids made $16.22;)
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Other things: Wallace's umbilical cord fell off at day 13 which is slightly earlier than the other kids. He is not a big fan of the two baths we have given him but he really did need them both, because his skin is pretty dry, he has a little clogged tear duct, and greasy toddler hands are all over this guy every day;)  Also, he used to love the pacifier in the first week but now he is not really having it. I wonder if that will change again? I'm going to keep pushing it to help him self soothe, but I'm also okay nursing him a ton for comfort right now, too. We will get into a nice solid routine someday, but two weeks is still 'anything goes' for me right now.

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Highlights:
-a sleeping baby on my chest, all curled up and so cozy
-his smell: literally intoxicating when I sniff his head (which happens often)
-watching the big kids interact with their baby brother, I just cannot.
-Nate holding Wallace, making the baby look impossibly small and Nate look like a seasoned, pro-daddy.
-taking family walks with Wallace in the Ergo, Nate pushing Porter in a stroller, and the two big kids on their scooters.
-maternity leave in the summertime with the kids home, doing fun things as a family, and soaking in this new baby of ours.
-having a beer or a glass of wine in the evenings. I MISSED YOU, ALCOHOL!
-Wallace's laid back personality, his ability to nap well and often, and sleep great at night
-nursing a newborn again, marveling that they just know how to do this! Watching him grow and feeling proud that my body is contributing to his growth
-sleepy baby smiles and scared faces, assuming he's having 'bad dreams' and then very happy dreams. Or I guess it's just his reflexes as he works his way through sleep phases, but it's freaking adorable to watch his face contort as he sleeps.
-newborn grunts, sighs, squeaks, and sounds.

Two weeks down! Time is flying...

Porter at two weeks | Cecelia at two weeks | Truman at two weeks

Boon TRIP | Review

I have a product review for you over on my review site, all about the Boon TRIP. Also: first time pumping this morning went well!

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Ten Days Old

Wallace's first ten days are in the books and I like to share these special times on the blog, since everything is such a blur with a new baby.

Nicknames:
We go between calling him Wallace and Ace pretty equally, we will see which one sticks. Cecelia likes to call him 'Wally' and I know that is the obvious nickname for 'Wallace', but we just like Ace a lot better. Also: Waller Baller, Wall-man, W, and Porter's favorite pick: Wallipop. Which is hilarious, because he can't say his 'Ls' very well, so it's literally the same word as Lollipop for him;)

Other name choices not selected:
A commenter mentioned that I should tell what our other name options were. The second pick was Gilbert Stanley, or 'Gil' after my dad's first name (he goes by his second name, he is a junior). I love Gil so much but Nate just couldn't get behind it when it came to crunch time. And my dad has never liked his first name that much, so we figured Wallace could hate his name less as an Ace versus a Gil?

I also loved Calvin (Cal), Macallister (Mac), Murdoch (Doc), and Howard (Howie). Also Silas, Lorenzo (Enzo), and Amos (Moe). I was very big into nicknames this time around and again, Nate immediately liked Wallace the best. I admit some were pretty 'out there' but it was a lot of fun to make a hug list again. This guy is 100% Wallace, for sure. Did I mention that Stanley is Lois's dad's name? So each of our kids has a grandparent or great-grandparent middle name, for all four of our parents. Kind of love that symmetry stuff.

If he was a girl, I would have pushed hard for Alice Rosemary. Also really like Phoebe, Louise, and Dorothy....but we didn't even discuss girl names that much since we didn't talk names until after our 20 week ultrasound. Truman wanted his mythical sister to be named Rose and I would have liked to use Lois's middle name of 'Mary' in there somehow. I thought Rose Mary would have been a little odd though.

Can't straighten his legs in this NB sleeper of Truman's.
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Another Truman/Porter outfit.
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Sleep:
Wallace is still pretty sleepy overall and seems super chill so far. He's consistently waking up twice at night to eat, which ends up being a 3-4 hour stretch each time. On day eight, I must mention that he slept from 11pm-5:20 am, when I had to WAKE HIM to feed because I was about to explode. That's a six hour stretch and technically sleeping through the night, what the heck?? He then napped for another 3 hours after that so obviously he was in a sleepy phase that day. After that insane night, he went back to waking every 3-4 hours which is just fine by me for now, honestly. So much more comfortable, too!

First night!
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New to the woombie, sort of a fan.
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He loves to move and be held, but also likes his Mamaroo swing quite a bit. That is where he's been sleeping at night, and I've been sleeping next to him on the couch. We tried sleeping upstairs with the co-sleeper but it's really hard to nurse sitting up in bed for me, diaper changes are a lot more cramped, and we are just more comfortable on the lower level. I do want to get back up into my bed soon, so I will probably have Nate bring the swing up and down the stairs for Wallace's best sleep. We also have a rock and play this time, could try that at some point--but the Mamaroo is his favorite for now.

CHEEKS.
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Naps are obviously all over the place but he's sure to pass out in the Moby wrap or car seat. This makes me happy because Porter was already freaking out in the car seat by one week of life. Really hoping Wallace remains pretty chill and a decent sleeper, but of course it's way too early to tell. Enjoying it now while it lasts!

Best days at home with Nate off work for a week.
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Nursing:
This guy is a champ and loves to eat! He does get pretty sleepy at the breast, but will continue to suck even when asleep so I don't usually rush to pull him off. Sometimes he will take only one side and then takes a long nap, sometimes he will wake up after 5 minutes and want the other side. The new thing I've learned about Wallace this week is that he needs to burp after eating. He was getting very grunt-y and uncomfortable during some cluster feeding, and so one day I tried burping him. It was like a man burp, it was so loud. No wonder he was uncomfortable! My other kids would puke up a ton of milk when I burped them, so I sort of just stopped. But Wallace doesn't really spit up that much or that often, so I need to keep burping him to feel comfortable.

Covering his face. Sometimes he will cover both ears when it gets too loud in our house, too.
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Milk drunk smiles.
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I still feel pretty full in the mornings and in the middle of the night with this guy, but I'd say on average he does eat every 3 hours during the day.

Hi, buddy!
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Cutest face.
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Doc appointments: 
Nate and I took Wallace to the pediatrician the day after discharge, and my mom stayed back with the big kids. It was fun to have both parents with just the baby and Wallace did great! It was a weight check and bilirubin draw, and his weight was basically the same as it was when we discharged: 8lbs 5.5oz. The bilirubin did go up from 10.3 at the hospital to 13.0 when home, but the doc said as long as it's under 15 they wouldn't worry. His coloring looks good and so no more blood draws! The doc did have me bring him in for one more weight check on Friday, 7/14 and it was up to 8lbs 7.5oz so he gained about an ounce a day. That was great and the doc was pleased, so we won't go back until his month appointment for a check up.

Daddy at the doctor with us.
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Gotta rock some Gogo bowties!
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Sibling Love:
Oh, if I could bottle up the sweetest of our three big kids when they interact with their baby brother!
Favorite moments include Truman coming downstairs first in the mornings, walking right over to Ace and I, and giving the baby a huge kiss on the forehead. He'll talk quietly and ask how he slept at night, and then will tell me, 'I'm so glad he's here, mom.' Truman is the greatest big brother ever, seriously. He will fill up my water bottle for me, will grab a diaper and wipes, will hold the baby, put his pacifier in his mouth, and even attempts to help manage Cecelia and Porter (much harder than helping with the baby).

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Cecelia has had some incredibly sweet moments with her newest baby brother, too. Yesterday she started singing to him in the highest pitched angel-voice, saying things like, 'You are so little, I love you so much, you are my best friend, go to sleep little baby.' Um, BEST FRIEND, guys. She asked me last night, when Nate took Wallace downstairs so I could do my part of bedtime with the bigs: "Where did my best friend go?" I cannot even.

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Porter has had the biggest adjustment to Wallace, of course, but he's making us very proud overall. I mean, P just turned three last week and gained a new brother, so all in all he's handling it pretty well. There have been more tantrums and testing the limits, but that might just be part of turning three. He's refused to nap several days and seems to enjoy pushing our buttons but he's also the sweetest dude ever. He loves 'Baby Wallace' and wants to hold him, kisses him, and accidentally pokes his eyes many times a day. There was one frightening moment when I had Ace on the floor on a blanket, was sitting right next to him, and Porter was leaning next to us staring at the baby. Then I saw him bend over and start to JUMP over the baby----I grabbed him and whipped him back to the ground before he could take off, and it scared him but it scared me more!

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My July Guys;)
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We had a big talk about not trying to jump over the baby and he seemed to get it, but yeah---definitely won't be leaving Wallace on the ground unattended! Porter will also tell strangers who stop to look at the baby, 'That's baby Wallace, I'm a big brother!' Seriously, so sweet. I've been trying to give Porter plenty of focused attention, hugs, and time with just mama. He eats up the time without his bigger siblings so much (both T and C have a few day camps this summer so Porter and Ace should have some solid quality time at home with me going forward). Porter only wants mama to tuck him in for naps and bed and only wants me to change his diaper....which is another story entirely. He was showing signs of being ready for potty training right before Wallace was born but right now we are not pushing it. I suppose we will go for it during maternity leave, but for now....two in diapers, again!

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THREE BOYS!
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Our crew.
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Some big firsts of the week:
First trip to Target on 7/14! Mama needed some new postpartum clothes, pads, and stool softener. Sorry for such a boring trip, buddy!
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Yo Mama on 7/17: he took the double bob with Porter for the first time and slept the entire time it was moving, got a little fussy as we ate our ice cream because he was jealous, obvi. ;)
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Farmers Market on 7/15: in the Moby, even though it was kind of hot. Lots of comments about how tiny he was, and we even got a free block of cheese from a vendor because I had a baby. YES.
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First bonfire and s'more observance 7/14
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First trip to the pool 7/15 (he slept through the night after this, so it must have been exhausting!)
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First playground picnic 7/16
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All in all, the first ten sleepy days have been wonderful. And now we begin our new sense of normal, with Nate back to work. Let's do this, gang!

Porter's first week | Cecelia's first week | Truman's first week
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