Sunday, August 16, 2015

Now a Family of Four

Lydia Grace was born July 7, 2015 at 12:52 PM, 6 pounds 10 ounces and 20 inches of perfection. I knew she was going to be beautiful, but I never could’ve imagined she'd be so perfect and breathtaking. I am smitten over and over, every time I look at her.

I feel so humbled—and a little ashamed to think of how much I worried all those months—but I know how often things can go wrong, too, so I’m extremely grateful that she’s here, safe and healthy, and honestly…just…perfect. I know you think I’m biased, so pardon my gushing. But Lydia is just the sweetest, calmest baby, and at the same time so interested in everything and everyone around her. She’s quite the overachiever—sleeping 5 or 6 hours at night already and putting on the loveliest thigh rolls you've ever seen. At just 4 weeks old she started to smile and coo, and she loves to lie on the floor and watch her brother Caleb play.

Caleb loves her, too, and he’s already very protective; whenever she starts to cry he says, “Lydia crying!” and tries to soothe her, and whenever we get out of the car he points to her and says “Baby! Baby!” to remind us not to leave without her. Of course, that would be impossible, since any time she’s in her car seat she’s screaming like the world’s ending. It’s the only time she’s really unhappy.

And like any almost-2-year-old, Caleb can be too rough with her sometimes, so he’s had to go to time-out a few times for not listening, but he’s learning to be more careful. Seeing how much they love each other already though (almost to death in Lydia’s case…), I could see these two being the best of friends when Lydia gets a little older.
Me—I feel absolutely amazing. I think I have the opposite of postpartum depression…postpartum exuberance? It was the same way with Caleb. While I’m pregnant, I’m anxious and moody, but once that baby’s here, I’m on a natural high for weeks. Maybe it’s just adrenaline, but there’s nothing like having a new baby to get me excited about cleaning. And I don’t even like cleaning (for the record, I still hate doing dishes). Weird, huh?

In reality, I’d like to be water skiing or hiking, but nursing a newborn means I'm glued to the couch a good part of the day, so I have to do something with all that extra energy. Of course, I put plenty of energy toward snuggling my little girl, not to mention playing with my high-energy little boy whenever she happens to be sleeping. Give me a couple more weeks (or a couple more kids) and it will all catch up to me, I'm sure.

It's definitely a lot more work being a family of four. Sometimes Ben or I will say something about "the kids," and we'll look at each other like, "The kids? How did that happen?" I mean, we know how it happened, but it still blows our minds every time we hoist the double-stroller into the van or change 5 diapers during the 3 hours we're at church.    

Still, I never could’ve imagined how much I would enjoy being a mom, just like I never could’ve imagined how perfect Lydia would be, or how much I could love her so completely in an instant. When you’re childless, you hear so many times how demanding and exhausting and frustrating motherhood can be, but you don’t always hear how wonderful it is. It’s so wonderful to hold two little kids in my arms, and to watch them learn new things every day, to read with them and to take them to park just because we love to be outside and there's nowhere else in the world we have to be. There just aren’t even words.

And so that’s why we take pictures. Thank you, Jessica Southfield, for capturing our joy! We're having the time of our lives as a family of four.