Saturday, February 13, 2016

Welcome, Lena!

And then there were four.

In the wee hours of the morning of Tuesday, January 19, 2016, we welcomed Miss Lena Rose into our family (although true to fashion, she was Baby Girl for several days before we settled on a name).

We have spent the past several days/weeks settling into life as a family of four. Jon is coming to terms with being the primary source of testosterone in a house full of women. While he is already terrified of the teenage years, like the husband of a friend who also has two girls pointed out, he is man enough for the whole family.

I just read what I posted shortly after Elsa was born, and many of those sentiments are still true. Since then, however, we have learned a lot about being parents of a newborn (namely that we don't know what we're doing 99% of the time). Surprisingly, though, we have forgotten just as diapers have to be changed on a regular basis and babies like to be swaddled. We joke at the common sentiment we've heard a lot lately that people don't remember when their babies were so small, but there is an element of truth to it. Elsa has always been petite, but since Lena has entered the picture, Big Sister seems like a giant.

Jon claims that so far, Lena is much more chill than Elsa was, only crying when she needs something (primarily food). That may be true, but I think we are more laid-back as parents this time around. Even if we wanted to worry and feel insecure about every little detail, we wouldn't have the time or the energy because our darling 2 1/2-year-old still commands much of our attention.

Speaking of Elsa, she is doing quite well in her new role as Big Sister. She loves to hug and kiss Lena and is a good helper at diaper changing time. In addition, Lena's swing, bouncy chair, and car seat have been thoroughly tested and "made ready" for her use by her eager older sister. Sometimes Elsa isn't fully aware of her own strength when loving on her little sister, but as the second-born, Lena has to toughen up, and quickly.

So far, being the mother of two tiny humans is going much as I anticipated. Yes, it is often chaotic and messy and stressful, but overall, it has been a much easier transition going from one child to two than it was making the leap from zero to one. We have already adapted to a kid-centered lifestyle, so scheduling around naps and feedings and diaper changes has not been the shock to the system that it was last time. I am already accustomed to being late nearly everywhere I go, and I know that accomplishing anything more than the most essential tasks is sheer luck. And while they may not be the most intellectually-stimulating conversations, it is very nice to have someone to talk to during the day while we're at home; Elsa is quite the chatterbox, after all.

One thing we didn't expect--but are extremely grateful for--is the outpouring of support we have received from family and friends. It has been such a blessing to have so much help...and so much delicious food! We can't even begin to thank those who have provided for us during this time of great joy and great change, but it is our humble hope that we can repay the favor someday.

As I read over this post, I realize that I have written very little about our sweet Lena Rose. Uncharacteristically, I don't feel guilty about that at all. I cherish the snuggles and love to gaze upon her tiny little face as she sleeps, but I know that it only gets better from here. I am excited to get acquainted with her and the personality that will continue to emerge, but I know that will take time.

Meanwhile, just look at this face: