Christmas Eve lunch was spent at my parent's house and was followed by the candlelight service and dinner at my Grandfather's home. We had so much fun as we always do with all of David's "people." He is pretty much the center of the world on both sides of our family and always looks forward to seeing his many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Afterwards, we went home and spent the rest of the night enjoying our time just the four of us. We read the Christmas story from David's children's bible, put out milk and cookies for Santa, and spent the remainder of the night getting his gifts set out for Christmas morning. Santa brought David a kitchen and some fun knick knacks in his stocking. Evie got her nursery :) and also technically received the kitchen as well, though David is not aware of that right now. If you don't already know, Grant is a HUGE cook and was extremely excited to be able to share this hobby with David. After David played with his gifts for a bit, we headed to Grant's parent's house for brunch and more gifts for David. Then spent the afternoon at Grant's grandparent's house enjoying extended family and even more gifts for David :). If this child wasn't already equipped with every musical instrument on the planet---he definitely is now. He got a microphone, electronic drumsticks, a piano, small drum set, recorder, and an accordian. Now add these to our ever growing collection which consists of: two harmonicas, a flute, saxophone, cymbals, the triangle, 4 maracas, 2 drums, a few noisemakers, bells, keyboard, and who knows what else. I should start hosting Kindermusik classes at our home to make extra money :). Lets just hope his musical interest does not wane in the next few weeks because I have no idea what we would do with so many instruments. He really is a well rounded kid and enjoys lots of things like cars, trucks, bikes, airplanes, football, baseball, etc---but his musical interest is really quite extreme. After opening a box of Auburn football players, he did not understand why the band members were not included. In his little mind, they come hand in hand. Anyways--we had a great time enjoying the blessing of family and celebrating the gift of Christ. Evie has been a really really content baby and that made it even easier to soak up Christmas so soon after her birth. Other than some weight issues, she has done SO well these first four weeks. She has started waking during the night more which is good for her weight gain considering she used to sleep 7 hours at a time and was probably too young to be doing so. I have loved having a newborn in my arms day after day---you forget what special experience it is. It is all I can do to put her down during David's nap so I can get some chores done. I really am trying to enjoy this time even though it is a bit chaotic and get to know her even though it feels like there isn't all that much to know right now outside of feeding and sleep. I feel like I should record a few things to remember from her first days: She rarely cries--only if she has gas pains or is hungry. She does not like to be hot. She is really different from David--sleeps well on her back and does not need a pacifier unless she is hungry. We have seen quite a few unintentional smiles and it is so cute to get a glimpse of what she will look like as she gets older. As of now, we cannot tell who she looks like. She is still quite dark for our gene pool, but has my mouth, chin, hands, and feet. We have no idea whose eyes she has and I love how big they are. We are used to squinty eyes in our family. Lastly, she loves to be held, ride in the car, and sleep on her Daddy's chest. God is good.
We had a WONDERFUL first Christmas as a family of four. First, we spent the weekend before Christmas at my Uncle Pete and Aunt Cindy's farm in Shorter, AL. David absolutely loved seeing his second cousins (if that is even what they are) since he is always the only cousin in our immediate family gatherings. I cannot believe how old he looks in some of these pictures with my cousin's little ones. It was a really sweet time with family and sort of a 'coming out' party for Evie. Though it was freezing cold, the boys shot skeet and rode around the land while the girls stayed warm inside with the kids. It was a great start for our Christmas celebration! Thank you Cindy for always being so hospitable and so fun to be around.
David was obviously traumatized by how long I was pregnant. Every single day since Evie was born he has said--Big belly gone?? Many times he will want to be carried or will want me to read him a book and he always is quick to ask me if my big belly is gone. He was so excited the other day about this revelation, he was going around the house beating on his drum singing--big belly gone, big belly gone, big belly gone.
Apparently, he loved his time visiting with us in the hospital and it has nothing to do with his great love for us or Evie. No--it has to do with food. Every time he is told we are out of milk or bananas or some other choice desire of his--he responds with the words--Gift Shop. It took me a few times to understand what he was trying to communicate--but now I get it. He loved getting snacks in the hospital Gift Shop. So much so, that he is talking about the Gift Shop nearly a month later. Hilarious!
I find it so funny that David refuses to go into his playroom alone because the Santa Clause scares him. He routinely comes to me and says--Santa look me. I scared.
He cracked us up by trying to use his sippy cup as a breast pump on his tummy. He is obsessed with the machinery of the pump and constantly asks me if I need to pump and reassures me he will turn it on and off for me.
David has these precious moments where he is just enamored with Evie. He will come up to her and ask for a hug and take her little arms and wrap them around his neck while saying--Awww. Then he will just look at me and say--I like her. He also loves it when her eyes are wide open and he always laughs and says--Mommy, Evie look me. Funny. Laugh.
I love it when he speaks in third person---which is all the time these days. He calls himself "Day-Day" and loves to say things like--Day Day sleepy. Day Day's milk. Day Day go bye bye too? My favorite is when he wants to pretend he is a baby and when I say--Aww, be my little baby. He responds with--No Mommy, I Day-Day.
He is only ever threatened by Evie when my Mom (his Nanny) is holding her. I say "his" Nanny because he truly believes she belongs to him. You can say something like---David, that's my Nanny and he immediately shoots back--NO, MY Nanny. All this to say, he does not love it when she is holding the baby. He often will repeatedly say--Mommy, hold Evie--basically insinuating he would like for Nanny to get rid of Evie and fast.
I can tell he is slowly getting worn down by how long and often I have to nurse Evie at this age. He always comes up to me about half way through a feeding and with great exasperation says--Evie, done eating????
He does not love to stop long enough for a diaper change, so when his diaper is dirty I will often ask him if he pooped. He always responds with--No, Mommy. No poop. I TOOTED.
Whenever I need to care for Evie, David is quick to call out---Back, Minute!! Stool! He then comes running down the hallway with his little stool and proceeds to climb up on it so he can watch whatever is being done.
I am cherishing this tender age where every single boo-boo MUST be kissed in order to not hurt so much. I will say we do a lot of boo-boo kissing around here because our little man is slightly on the clumsy side (he comes by it genetically), but I will never grow tired of it because I know this will change in a quick few years.
I love it when he stands in the front doorway and shouts out 'MARLEY' which really sounds like 'MARYEE'. Then he proceeds to order him to his taco which is what we call his bed. The poor dog just looks at him like he is crazy to think he will obey.
This child loves Santa. He talks about him all day long. He calls him on his phone and rattles through his list of wants: 'canny', wheeler, airplane, and helicopter. Every time I deny his constant requests for candy, he responds with Santa Clause. If we are ever out of something around the house: batteries, bananas, milk--he immediately tells me he will ask Santa for it. Poor guy, thinks every day is Christmas and is having a hard time understanding the countdown. Regardless though, he has a strong desire to like the beloved Santa Claus. However, his sweet desire has not yet become a reality. He wants so badly to like him in person. He asks to go see him over and over again only to find he is terrified once he gets close enough to realize what he has asked for. He screamed and cried last year as well. Maybe we will have better luck when he is 3. :)
So far, we are making it fairly well. I have been really surprised by Evie's sleep patterns and am blessed to receive 4plus hours of sleep after midnight. I have started setting my alarm to feed her because she really isn't gaining weight--which makes me wonder why she is not waking up hungry. I guess she is just still in that newborn coma phase. We are having so much fun getting to know her. I feel pretty good about having both of them at home with me all day---the next task will be for us to get out the house alone before noon, ha!! I am still learning how to nurse Evie and get us all dressed in a timely manner without Grant's help. Luckily, I cannot drive yet--so I am forced to enjoy the time at home in these early weeks.
David has changed so much since Evie arrived. He is talking in sentences and truly talks all.day.long. He has done really well with sharing his beloved attention--just a few meltdowns that we can either attribute to his two year oldness or the huge transition he is having to make. He is still obsessed with music and now really loves to sing into anything that can pose as a microphone. He can count to 11, identify all his shapes and colors (except for blue, not sure what to think about that) and knows all his letters. After watching Leap Frog Letter Factory, he is able to tell us the phonetical sound of each letter which truly surprised me since he has not been into the alphabet all that much before turning 2. He loves to feed Marley and help with Evie by offering her a paci seven hundred times a day. He doesn't really want to hold her longer than 30 seconds, but likes to know where she is at all times. I have been really pleased with his ability to play alone in his playroom while I nurse what seems like 23 hours a day. So far, we are watching lots of movies and wearing pajamas quite a bit, ha!
Evie will be 2 weeks on Tuesday and I can't believe we are halfway to her one month birthdate--time truly goes into fast forward when children are involved. Overall, I am just so thankful to be feeling good and pretty rested given the circumstances. I am also grateful for how David has transisted---I am still struggling a bit with not being able to care for him like I used to--but I know it is good for him to gain some independence at this age. God is good and we are especially excited to celebrate Christ's birth with our own little baby!!
Daveman has really become the silliest little person and I am loving every minute of it. This is just an example of the small things he has started to pick up from watching us interact with Evie. The other day he came in with camera in hand , got on one knee, and proceeded to say "Cheese Evie!" over and over again. Too cute!!
People say that a son is your heart and a daughter is your soul. It sounds a little silly, but it really has seemed to hold true for me as I have transisted into being a mother of 2 precious children. I just cannot stop singing praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. This is just all too overwhelmingly good for me to process right now.
But this I call to mind and therefore, I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore, I will hope in him.
I have been praying through this verse as I relearn how to remain alert at 3 AM and choose to truly enjoy that time with Evie as a sweet gift for just the two of us. It has been really nice to have some time set aside for me to really get to know her considering I now am learning to love on two little people during the day. I was nervous about not holding Evie as much as I did David, that she would be in her swing all day long and whatnot. However, the Lord has been really good and has been really merciful with me. So far, we have had two hard nights that were a result of supplementing formula--the poor girl needed to be on some hypoallergenic formula and we had to learn the hard way. Since we have figured out her little system, she has done so well at night--sleeping 3 hours between feedings and going right down after being nursed. We have had a bit of jaundice and have been followed carefully to make sure it did not go to a level where phototherapy was going to be required. Thankfully, her levels are coming down and we no longer need to supplement her feedings--one less step in the whole process now!
David has seriously surprised us. He is such a joy and continues to exhibit such a pleasant demeanor as he learns where Evie fits in around here. He has yet to perceive her as a threat, though I am sure that will come with time. So far, he just loves to swing her, hold her, give her a paci, and watch me change her diaper. I am just trying to really give him some individualized time between feedings whether it is reading or "cooking" or snuggling while we watch a movie. I was worried his feelings would be hurt because I cannot carry him around (I had a c-section), but he has handled it well and likes to sit in my lap and just get hugs.
Thank you all for praying on our behalf. The transition home started a bit rocky--we had some temperature issues when trying to discharge and had to delay coming home a few hours. I was an emotional wreck over the possibility of having to leave her in the NICU. Thankfully, our wonderful nurse did everything possible to help get her warmed up and as soon as Evie showed she could maintain her temp--we were on our way. However, my heightened emotions made for a rocky first 2 days at home. The Lord was so kind to allow our coming day to fall on a Friday. I NEEDED Grant this weekend. I just remember feeling so overwhelmed by being home and just kept wishing I could go back to the hospital where my days consisted of snuggling Evie and visiting with friends and family. Thankfully, I started to feel settled in Saturday evening and things have been really smooth (despite some sleep deprivation).
I guess that is enough for now--more pictures to come I am sure!!