Monday, May 22, 2017

More on our Four

Lincoln has advanced from needing to be directly on top of me and Jonah whenever I'm holding him to now circling the recliner we often sit in, rolling cars all around our perimeter. I'm celebrating this as a step in the right direction towards Lincoln's journey towards independence. 
Try as I might, my babies have all refused to get those nice, delicious, plump baby rolls. Here's skinny Excell baby #4 in all his sincerest efforts to grow a thigh roll. 
Pondering ways to grow said thigh roll thus living up to all his mother's unrealistic expectations for him.
We're starting to see some social smiles from Jonah. We all squeal whenever his lips begin to indicate he likes us. 
When Jeff is home, I often sic the older boys on him so I can get some quiet time with baby, or fold a procrastinated load of laundry, so he hasn't gotten much time with Jonah. When they do get time together, this is their preferred bonding activity. 

If Jonah doesn't have Jeff to lounge on, he's found himself quite fond of his car seat which will come in handy when we drive out to visit my parents in a few weeks!
The novelty of a baby has not worn off as Carson still requests his morning snuggles with baby brother after a long night apart.

Now that you're updated on Jonah, let's see what the other boys have been up to! One afternoon I was getting grapes for Lincoln. With each grape I put on the counter for him, Lincoln loudly protested by saying, "Make house! Make house!"

Confused for a moment, I finally realized Lincoln was requesting I put the grapes in a bowl -- aka, a grape house.
I finally ventured out with all four boys on my own for a quick trip to the library. Eli was a great helper and prevented Lincoln from taking a solo trip on the elevator, so major big brother points there! I love coming home from the library, dumping all our new books in the living room, and watching the boys quietly, eagerly, and contently flip through every page of every book.
We also ventured out to a park with my sister where I claimed disability due to just having a baby, leaving my sister the lone operator of this merry-go-round holding 3 somewhat demanding passengers with a need for spinning speed.
Warmer weather has brought many an after school treat out on the back deck.
You might be raising a herd of boys if the only way to clean up all the Legos in the house with a snow shovel.
One morning while I was getting ready, Lincoln was scaling the edge of the bathtub quietly chanting to himself, "Don't think about it, don't think about it."

My interpretation of this was that he was trying not to think about falling.

My sister's interpretation was that he was willing himself not to think about ways to get in trouble.
She was probably right. 
I am constantly finding Lincoln in unfortunate predicaments. If he's not fully clothed in the bathtub, he can be found lunging for knives, dumping sugar on the floor, or my favorite, licking raw meat. I was talking to my mom one afternoon and literally every time I turned my back on him he was in some new, crazy, unexpected form of trouble quicker than what seemed logical! He's sneaky. He's fast. And he's trouble!

One afternoon I walked by Jonah's bouncer to find Carson had created a stand-in baby. 
Another Carson drawing that tickled me was this list of what he deemed "Fare" (fair) and "Unfere" (unfair).
Fare (complete with hearts, sunshine, flowers, and smiley faces): Getting a bonus. Getting 100 on your test!

Unfere (broken heart, sad faces, Xs): Feelings hurt. Sick. 

I never tire of seeing what's in that kid's head and his methods of materializing those thoughts. 

Eli came home from school one day completely overcome with a new obsession -- Fidget Spinners. Luckily I had already heard about them otherwise I doubt I would have understood a word of his excited sputterings. And luckily for him, he hadn't used up all of his allowance money so he had just enough money to buy himself the latest fad.

The only time the boys have willingly smiled at the camera was right after I told them we'd take them to the store to purchase their beloved spinners.
I'm anxious to see what tricks this spinner and its proud new owner will produce. 
We'll end with one more Lincoln misinterpretation. Lincoln loves to sort through all the hot pads while I'm making dinner. He got this oven mitt out and proudly relabelled it, "Ball catcher!"

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Beware the Binky/Bed/Blankie/Bouncer Bandit

As expected, the new baby transition has been especially difficult for Lincoln. Lincoln was the baby. Lincoln loved being the baby. Lincoln loved to be held. He constantly had my attention. He had a good life.

Until Jonah. 

Jonah came in and stole everything Lincoln thought was his. Suddenly his mom is overwhelmingly less available, his position in the family has been altered, and a new little creature began stealing all his attention.

In fact, all the boys kind of went through a rough week or so of fighting, arguing, hitting, wrestling, and basically acting like a pack of dogs trying to figure out who the alpha male is going to be now that we've added another pup to the litter. 

I'm not sure if the role of alpha male has been successfully won over, but the mischievous male role was quickly filled by a certain toddler who took it upon himself to transition into a full-blown two-year-old once he realized his baby title had been taken. 
My sister ran into us at the library a week into our becoming-a-family-of-6 adjustment. Lincoln was running around, not minding any of Jeff or my requests. He was shouting orders at people, belligerently shouting "No!" just because he could, and it was here he discovered he could run and I could not while I was recovering. 

My sister, who had just watched old, innocent, sweet, baby Lincoln for 3 days, looked on with disbelief as she saw first-hand the drastic transition our toddler had made. "He acts like he's the big man on campus now!" She said with a laugh upon watching his hyperactive library shenanigans. 

And so it has continued at home. Lincoln is a tornado of trouble. Every morning as Lincoln barges in while I nurse Jonah, I try to convince Lincoln that he's too big to lay in the baby's pack-n-play while he dangles his feet threateningly into the bed. 
Then I shower and come out to a little munchkin who has plopped himself in baby's bouncer with baby's blanket, convincingly claiming them both as his own. 
After I burp Jonah and lay him down next to me, Lincoln wedges himself right up next to me as close as possibly and then slowly makes efforts to shove Jonah away with his feet. 
This is how we nurse in the afternoon. 
And this is where I find Jonah's binky before bed.
Poor Lincoln. He's even tried to steal Jonah's name. For as quickly as he grew up, he's sure wanting to go back to being the baby. 

We're all thankful when Jeff comes home from work to help everyone wrestle out their new baby anxieties. I am happy to sit on the couch with peaceful new baby and watch the chaos, wondering if I will ever grow to understand the appeal of wrestling as I raise all these boys. 
 Now here are a bunch of pictures of Jonah to make you feel updated on the first 3 weeks of his life:

The folded ear in all its glory.
He looks very Jeff-y to me here.
His umbilical cord got really stinky, fell off super early, and then wouldn't stop bleeding for a week! I put a band-aid over it because I thought it was bleeding from rubbing against his diaper. At his 2-week appointment the pediatrician put silver nitrate on it and it's finally on the mend.
I said prayers and prayers that this baby would sleep, and sleep he does! Hallelujah!
My friends came to visit and swoon over baby one evening.
They were so nice and brought dinner and gifts with them. I opened the gifts up after they left and put one of the outfits on Jonah. It wasn't until I had it all the way on him that I laughed out loud upon noticing the symbolism.

The jammies are super cute, but he's still so small that he's a little swallowed up in them.
 Jeff's been enjoying Jazz games with his newest sports fan.
I've started venturing outside with the little guy. I've been feeling great and have had a smooth recovery! It's hard to feel great but still give my body time to heal. Luckily the weather has been nice so we aren't going totally stir crazy while we're cooped up resting and recovering.
 We're 3 weeks in and we are starting to function as a normal family instead of a pack of dogs. :) Everyone's finding their place and we're slowly figuring out how to do the 4-kid shuffle.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Baby in a Basket Take 3

With Jonah potentially being our last baby, I thought he was a good baby to splurge on and subject ourselves to a newborn photo shoot. I had visions of a to-die-for brother picture since I am no longer skilled enough to capture the attention of all my offspring at the same time and had made it 2 weeks postpartum without a single shot of all 4 of my boys. 

Thankfully our outfits came together without a hitch, Jonah slept through the whole shoot, and we got that to-die-for brother picture I didn't really believe was possible. 

Family pictures were a little more dicey. Don't let Lincoln's innocent demeanor fool you. He was running around like a certified crazy person and would barely sit still long enough to be more than a blur in the picture. But somehow he and everyone else looks totally adorable in this picture except for me and my lurking arm. Figures.
I know. This picture isn't helping prove my point that Lincoln was a nut case, but I'll let him fool you with his sweet smile.
 The older boys were bribed with Legos.

Jonah was bribed with a space heater set to 85-degrees.

I think this one is my favorite shot.

I was busy chasing around other boys (think Lincoln), so I didn't notice when the photographer zero-ed in on Jonah's ear. I laughed out loud when I found this gem mingled in with all the rest of our sweet newborn shots.

Jonah's ear. Jonah's ears are weird. I know it. He probably knows it. We all know it. We're told it was just folded up weird in the womb and it will sort itself out over time. The bottom of it is currently constantly folded up and doesn't exactly scream "Hey, I need a close up shot of me!" when I look at it.

Also I trimmed Jonah's hair around his ears that morning and turns out the cut was a little choppy. So way to capture all our insecurities in this one shot, photog.

Here's the time the photographer told me to kiss Jonah...'s nose. I started going in for a kiss on the forehead (this seemed natural to me), and then she threw in the nose part. So I swooped him up further to reach his nose and felt awkward through the rest of the process. It turned out...okay? I think a forehead kiss would have been cuter but here we are.

And then this. The folded ear again in action. Also Jeff thinks it looks like we are being handed the baby from heaven or something. It's like alllllllllmost cute but mostly cheesy and a little too ear foldy.
Look who finally pulled it together. Me. Too bad by this time everyone else was D-O-N-E with picture taking and the bribes have lost their appeal.

We love our Jonah man! He's so sweet, fits right in, and he's the best excuse to get everyone in color coordinated outfits.