Molly Frances 2 months old

Our sweet Molly girl is 2 months old!  Where is the time going??  The first month seemed to creep by a little bit, but now the time is flying.  I will be going back to work in a month which is just hard to think about.  I am trying to soak up all my time with this baby girl.  She had her two month well check, and she is a healthy, growing girl!  She was right around the 50th percent mark for height and weight, so I'd say she is doing perfect.

She is so much more alert these days and starting to interact with us which is the sweetest.  She gives the biggest grins now and they just melt my heart.  She really enjoys her play mat during her awake times.  She will sit there for a long time content just batting at toys.  She is getting a lot better at holding her head up too.  She is enjoying her bouncey seat more now as well.  I usually sit her in that in the mornings while we are getting the big kids ready for school.  She is always the happiest in the morning and usually just kind of quietly entertains herself.  She still loves her bath and hates getting out.  I finally bought a new adapter for our BOB stroller since we couldn't find it, and she has loved strolling. She really likes being outside.  She loves her mommy of course, and her favorite napping spot is on my chest.  She still loves to be swaddled to sleep, and she loves her paci.  It has been especially helpful in the car since that still is not her favorite place.  But, it seems like she is getting a little more used to it and doesn't scream the whole time we are driving thankfully!

We just starting working on getting into a better schedule and into bed earlier, and it is a game changer.  I had been keeping her up until 10 or 10:30 to get a later feeding in, but I was so exhausted and had no "me" time at night.  If there is one thing I cherish it is that hour of quiet couch time before bed to just watch a little TV, drink a little wine, and have some adult conversation with my husband. I loved the extra cuddles, but I needed some quiet time. I ran into a friend who had a baby a few weeks after me, and I asked about her schedule for the baby.  She said he went down at 8:30 and only woke up once to feed- WHAT?  It was like a light bulb went off- Hey Meredith you don't have to kill yourself trying to stay up all night to put the baby to bed when she passes out on your chest every night anyway.  So I slowly moved her bedtime up.  The past few nights I have done her last feeding at 8 and then put her to bed.  We have had to cry it out a little bit, but she usually falls asleep within 30 minutes or so which has given me back some free time.  And guess what- she is still waking up between 3:30 and 4:30 which is pretty much what she was doing before.  I get her up, change her diaper, feed her, and then put her back down.  She then wakes up between 7 and 8 in the morning.  I make sure to feed her every 3 hours during the day even if I have to wake her up to keep her on schedule.  We try to follow the eat, play, sleep pattern during the day.  But, she still kind of just naps whenever she feels like it.

The big kids still love her so much, and I feel like it is getting a little easier to balance my time between everyone. I'm feeling more like a normal human being and not such a zombie.  Even though she's still waking up at night, I don't feel totally exhausted all day.  This little baby is such a blessing, and I know that I am going to blink and she will be in kindergarten. Everyone agrees that she looks so much like her big brother!

2 months:

11lbs 9oz (56%)
22.5 inches (51%)

Brady Turns 5!

It is hard to believe that we have a 5 year old!  I remember thinking when my nephew turned 5 that he was so grown up.  I feel like 5 is a big milestone.  It is kind of their transition out of "toddlerhood" to little boy.  I can't even think about him going to kindergarten next year- just doesn't seem possible!  But, it is so fun watching him grow up.  Brady is officially our only boy and our first born which makes him extra special.  He has the sweetest personality, and it melts my heart to see how sweet he is to his sisters.  Katelyn is truly his best friend, and he would pick her over any other friend.  Prime example at his birthday party he had the opportunity to pick one friend to play the game, and guess who he passed the baton to?  Katelyn of course!

He is super sweet, but he also has a very stubborn streak in him.  If Brady wants something- he is not stopping until he gets it.  I guess this is what happens when both of your parents are in sales.  The most recent thing is light up shoes.  His friend got a pair in class, and that is all we have heard about.  "Mommy how about today after school we can get some light up shoes?"  And, I am telling you, he won't stop.  He is also very sensitive.  He lets things get to him, and Katelyn likes to capitalize on that. He is in the 92nd percentile for height and the 83rd for weight. We have a big boy on our hands! Hard to believe he was born premature. He is very into Ninja Turtles, Garfield, Super Heroes, Cars, and all things boy.  I think he would watch TV or play on the iPad all day long if we let him.  We are so proud of him, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for this sweet boy of ours.

He wanted to have a karate party, so that is what we did!  It is perfect, because they literally do everything for you.  All I had to do was bring a cake.  With having a 3 week old, I was all about the do nothing party. His best buddy in his class has a birthday a couple days before his, so we decided to have a joint party. All the kids had a blast! We also took cupcakes to his class on his actual birthday.  Katelyn was so excited that they let her come to his class and join in on the fun.  This was Molly's first trip to school as well.

His birthday present!

This picture just made me laugh!

I think this is the whole reason for the party- they get to cut the cake with a huge sword!

Molly Frances- 1 month old

Molly is 1 month old!  That means we survived a whole month as a family of five!  I am not going to lie, it has been tough at times.  I have had major mom guilt for not being able to devote as much attention to the big kids.  It has been especially tough on Katelyn. She loves Molly very much, but she has always been my little side kick.  It is hard for her to understand when I can't drop what I am doing to pay attention to her.  I have tried to give her some special one on one time when I can  such as painting her finger nails, and taking her to dance every Friday, but it's hard.  I also feel like when I try to spend "quality time" with the kids I end up yelling at them the whole time instead because they won't listen or they are constantly picking on each other.  Also, the post partum emotions didn't help.  I was super emotional for a couple of weeks, which seems to be a taboo topic that no one likes to talk about.  But in discussions with other moms- I know I am not alone.

But, I am happy to say that I feel like we are turning a corner.  I am feeling more like myself again.  I took the kids to school the other day. It felt good to get out of the house and see my mom friends even if it was just for 5 minutes at drop off.  As nice as it is to just lounge while the baby is sleeping sometimes, I find that I feel much better if I just get up, take a shower, get dressed, and go about my day.  The other factor in my struggles is our current house situation.  I really hate our rental house.  I know I shouldn't complain, because we are so blessed to be able to build another beautiful home, but living in this tiny house with no yard to play in and no space is hard.  I feel like the walls are closing in on me when everyone is home for more than like an hour.  I am praying for patience, and trying to be thankful for what we have, but it definitely adds to my stress level.

Let's talk about our sweet Molly girl! She is just the sweetest thing. We moved her to her crib the other night, and she is doing great sleeping in her room.  It is a little harder for me, because instead of just scooping her up and feeding her in bed, I have to get up and go in her room, but I didn't want her to get too used to sleeping in the rock and play and have a hard transition to the crib.  She seems to be getting the whole bedtime routine and has been going down really easily (a major improvement from the first couple weeks when it would take hours to get her to go to sleep), so I hope it stays that way!  I usually feed her anywhere between 7 and 8, swaddle her, and she comes and hangs out with us in the living room after Brady and Katelyn go to bed.  She is usually awake for 30 minutes- an hour, but very content just being held. I always want to remember this time as she just looks up at me with her sweet little eyes, sucking on her paci.  I know I will miss these snuggles down the road.  She then falls asleep, and I gently change her diaper and feed her between 10-11 and put her down for the night.  She usually wakes up again between 2 and 3.  I change her, feed her, and put her back down.  Then she is up again anywhere between 5:30-7. During the day she still sleeps a lot.  I feed her every 3 hours.  She will be awake for 30 minutes or so then usually dose off again.  Sometimes I just sit and hold her while she sleeps, because she is not content with anything else.  Other times we just alternate between the swing, the rock and play, and the crib.  We have just started to do a little play time on her play mat.  She is starting to focus on things and seems to enjoy it, but only in small doses.

She is the happiest in the morning, and usually just hangs out while I get the kids ready for school.  They both love to see her in the morning, and she seems to really love them too.  She is usually pretty happy, but gets fussy sometimes in the afternoons.  It is usually due to gas :(.  She loves to be held, her paci, being swaddled, her bath (as long as she is not hungry), nursing, and riding in the Baby Bjorn carrier.  She dislikes- her car seat/riding in the car, being put down if she is asleep in my arms, her bouncey seat (both of the others loved it, so hopefully that will change), and getting out of the bath.

She is wearing size 1 diapers (could probably still wear newborn, but we ran out) and size newborn clothes/ some 0-3 that run small.  I am not sure about her weight, because we don't go back to the doctor until 2 months, but I think she is smaller than Katelyn was at this age.  Katelyn was a big baby!

She is the perfect addition to our family, and is so very loved!

Molly's First Week

Molly survived her first week in our crazy house.  We are all adjusting and getting used to our "new normal".  She is such a sweetheart, and we all just love her so much.  The kids have done really great with the transition.  The hardest part is just trying to keep them from wanting to be all over her all the time.  I am so impressed with how gentle Katelyn is with her.  She is so naturally loving, and she holds her so well.  Brady constantly asks if he can kiss her or rub her.  He is not as natural with holding the baby, but I think that is just a boy vs. girl thing.  Katelyn is very motherly and is constantly playing mommy to her baby dolls and imaginary friends, so she has some practice.

She is a great sleeper once she finally goes to sleep at night.  Sometimes it takes quite a while to get her to go to sleep, but once she is asleep she almost always sleeps 4-6 hours which at 1.5 weeks I'd say that is pretty good.  I wake her up every 3 hours during the day if she is napping to feed her, but just let her sleep at night.  She is a good eater and has caught onto nursing very easily just like her brother and sister. My goal is to breastfeed for atlas 6 months, and then anything after that will just be a bonus.

She had a pretty busy first week.  It was not really the best timing to come home from the hospital. I actually asked to leave early, because I was just ready to get home.  I usually say I love my hospital stay, but I missed the big kids, and I was tired of people coming in my room constantly to check on us.  So we came home Thursday around lunch time.  Well, preschool was closed early on Friday due to Hurricane Hermine, and it was labor day weekend.  That meant 4 long days with all three kids- stuck inside for part of the weekend due to all the rain.  We also had Paul's birthday celebration, and then we took newborn pictures on Monday.  I was really looking forward to Tuesday to finally have a quiet day at home with just the baby.  I think I may have overdone it a little bit, but I think with the third child you don't have much of a choice.  The show must go on!  We are lucky to have lots of help from grandparents, and Paul has done everything he can to make it easier on me.  I just keep reminding myself that the days are long, but the years are short.  These newborn days will be gone in a flash, and I will miss this teeny tiny baby.

We also started making some progress on our new house!  The same day Molly was born the demolition crew knocked down the house and starting clearing our lot.  I can't tell you how ready I am to be in our own house again.  I know that selling our house was the right thing to do, but I am REALLY missing my old house right about now.  We are moving along as fast as we can though, and I am so proud of Paul for all the work he is doing to get it done for us.  We always seem to pack all of these life changes in at the same time.  Once we get moved in I'm literally never moving again (although Paul thinks otherwise).

Here are some pictures from the past week!

They couldn't love her more!

Molly Frances meeting her namesake- my Grandma Fran.

Such a proud big sister!

Celebrating Daddy's birthday!

Passed out on the way to take newborn pictures.

I snapped this on my phone while we were taking pictures.

Love these 2 so much!

Wide awake!

Daddy and his girls!

Proud big brother!

I don't ever want to forget this feeling!

Two little Gamecocks ready for school!

Our first child to like a pacifier.

Katelyn's first day of tap/ballet.  She loved it!

Molly's fan club.

Meeting Aunt Paige

Our lot!

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