Yes, newborns are easier than toddlers, and yes they do sleep most of the day. But remember that their schedule is totally unpredictable. They are going to need to nurse, or be changed, or be bounced for twenty minutes at random and unexpected times - usually the moment you were finally about to start a new task or run out the door. Don't expect to get as much done as you're used to, and definitely don't expect to do everything in the same order or at the same time as you were hoping. In other words, newborns force you to just be flexible and let go of the things that are less important.
We're doing fine, really, but I think starting the schoolyear almost at exactly the same time as we had a new baby made things extra challenging - because I had only had a week of trying to get into the homeschooling groove before Felix came along and totally threw us off. And now we're trying to tackle the increased challenge of schooling the two big kids at once for the first time AND juggling a crying baby, super troublesome toddler, and whiney three-year old. (All while failing to keep up with laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. Thank goodness for the meal train the members of my Catholic Mom's group have been so generously participating in!)
This past week, we didn't even have an actual official school day, because we were busy dealing with a potential medical issue with Felix, and had to spend a couple days in the hospital. Long story short, he does this weird thing where he constantly bends his head all the way back - it seems to be his preferred posture. He does show signs of reflux, and a similar back-arching posture is common for reflux. But he does this all the time - even when he's calm or asleep, not just when he's having a reflux episode. So our pediatrician was "very concerned" and wanted us to check with a neurologist, since peculiar posturing like this sometimes indicates a neurological problem.
|His usual posture|
The neurologist wasn't sure what was causing it, and decided to admit him to the hospital so they could figure out what was going on. Felix had a full team of doctors working with him, and none of them had ever seen a baby do this with his head. My poor little guy (6 weeks old) was subjected to: a head ultrasound, an EEG, an EKG, a neck x-ray, an MRI, blood draws, a bunch of wires that monitored his basic functions, and (totally unnecessary), tubes for supplemental oxygen.
|With 26 probes on his head during his EEG|
And....all the tests came back normal. Which I'm definitely thankful for. But it's a frustrating non-conclusion to the whole ordeal. At this point, the working theory is that perhaps it's just a weird response he has to reflux. So we're going to try him on some stronger medication for that, and see what happens. If the unusual head positioning continues, we may have to look into physical therapy.
A few things we have managed to find the time for during this busy phase of life:
We had Felix baptized!
We've gone on a few more family nature walks, and are hoping to fit in one or two more before winter sets in. We all really enjoy doing this together, and have discovered a couple great woods for walking. Each of the three "big kids" has their own nature journal that they use to keep a record of our interesting finds.
|Stella: proving once again that *any* creature can be snuggled|
|Another worm for the journal|
Tom finally took the time to show the kids how to use the Mass kit I made for them to play Mass. I've seriously dreamed about them doing this since they were born, and it just melts my heart.
|Fr. Sly getting vested before Mass|
|The elevation. Linus is an altar boy, and is ringing the bell|
|Fe.Linus baptizing Stella's baby (named "Florabelle" - I wonder where she got that from? :-P ), whom she had been begging to have baptized all morning.|
Another mom whose kids are in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd with Stella and Linus heard that I was a big fan of "old-fashioned" baby clothes, and gave me an amazing little collection of old baby boy clothes. Those are like the holy grail of baby clothes for me. I've found some adorable smocked and laced baby girl dresses at thrift stores and rummage sales in my day, but I have never ever come across a good old-fashioned baby boy outfit. Look at some of these!!
And lastly, after almost a year of very slow-going work, I have finally finished Linus' quilt for his bed. It turned out a lot bigger than a twin size, actually, so it will definitely grow with him. When he was only two, and I asked him what sort of quilt he wanted, he had answered, "Blue. And Green. And squares." I think I pulled it off!
|The pattern is called an Irish Chain|