3rd Baby

How is my littlest little 2 years old already?!? It literally feels like she was born, I blinked and suddenly she was 2!

Height : 33 ins (40th percentile)

Weight: 23 lbs (7th percentile)

Head Circumference: 19 ins (70th percentile)

Last week Nora had her 2 year well child check up at the doctor. To say she was not a fan would be a total understatement. She cried from the moment we walked through the door. She wanted nothing to do with getting weighed, measured, poked or prodded and refused to answer 90% of the doctors questions. The needles were actually the least challenging thing at the appointment. She barely flinched when she got stuck with the needle but man trying to get her to let the doctor listen to her heart or look in her ears was like wrestling a gorilla. All my kids have hated the doctor at this age so I was prepared for a challenging appointment. Once the doctor was able to finally get a decent look at her she declared her to be the picture of health, although did say she could stand to put on a little bit of weight. Her development is right on track or ahead of the curve and she is healthy.

What can I say about Nora at two? She is a delight and a handful all rolled into one. She is a curious, friendly little daredevil. Her smile lights up a room. She isn’t afraid of anything. I love watching kids this age explore they are so curious and just take it all in.

Her goal in life is to keep up, or surpass, her sisters at everything. She is super loving and affectionate. She loves to snuggle and her favorite thing to play with are her baby dolls. She mothers them so well. It is quite possibly the most adorable thing to watch her rock her baby and say “You oh hay baby”, so stinkin’ cute! We have about 5 or 6 dolls and she loves each of them to pieces on a daily basis. When she isn’t playing mommy to her babies she is search the sky for airplanes, scaling any surface in our house she can, or “reading” books.

Her vocabulary is growing like crazy! I think she learns at least one new word a day right now. Even Anna will notice new words and will say “That is a new word for you, Nora. Good job!” The girls love their baby sister.

We love you to pieces sweet girl and can’t wait to see you’ll do next!

Today our sweet little baby, who isn’t much of a baby anymore, turns 2!! Who said that was okay 😉

It feels like just yesterday that she was a brand new tiny baby I was holding for the first time, and yet it feels like she has always been apart of our family. We love you to pieces sweet Nora. You bring so much life, laughter and spunk to our daily lives. We wish you the happiest of birthdays baby girl!

I haven’t nursed Nora in over a week. She is officially fully weaned. She still asks for it on occasion but she doesn’t get upset when I say no or distract her with something else. Although I was completely ready to be done with breastfeeding I still feel a little sad, or maybe nostalgic is a better word, now that it is over. It feels a bit like the end of an era. Babyhood in our family is officially coming to an end. Our kids are getting older and more independent by the day. Even the baby of the family isn’t a baby anymore.

Being done with breastfeeding feels like such a huge deal to me. Donating my nursing bras and tank tops felt surreal. For close to 5 of the last 7 and a half years I have had a nursing baby or toddler. It was just so much a part of my parenting routine that to have it be done feels weird, and I must admit a bit freeing. I don’t feel so tied down or required anymore. We all like to feel needed, and all my girls still need me and prefer for me to put them to bed at night, but I’m not required. Being gone in the evening around bedtime is now something I can do if I want to!

Nora was by far the hardest to wean. Perhaps it is because I waited a bit longer to start the process with her, perhaps it was just such a comfort to her she didn’t want to willingly give it up. Maya and Anna were fairly easy to wean, with only one or two nursing sessions being a little more challenging. By the time I started weaning them at 18 months they were down to just a few times a day anyway and we fully weaned within a month or so. Nora was still going strong at 18 months so getting her give it up was a lot harder. We took it slow and I tried to let her set the pace as much as I could, although I was ready to be done so I tended to nudge her a bit when I could. It took about 4-5 months to finally get to the point where she was just nursing once or twice a day. Getting rid of those last couple of sessions was a lot easier than I anticipated. I figured she would put up a huge fight, but with a little distraction and the introduction of some new elements to our morning and nighttime routines she quickly decided it was okay to give it up.

I really enjoy our new nighttime routine. We read a book (the same airplane book every night!) and snuggle for a few minutes. We still get that quiet, uninterrupted time together and she still gets her much loved snuggles before getting into bed. It works well and both of us are happy.

 

Being the parent of three children, two of whom are stroller riding age, you would think I would have been the owner of a double stroller a long time ago. I’ve somehow managed to avoid it for quite sometime. Babywearing was my saving grace. I could wear one and push one, keeping myself happily in the single stroller owner category. It was a happy place. Everyone was content with. I love babywearing and only having to deal with a single stroller. Anna was happy to ride along in comfort and Nora was rocking the whole being worn thing.

But then one day Nora decided that being worn perhaps meant she was missing out on some freedom. And, being the good toddler that she was, she was not going to allow that any longer. One day she decided that when we went for walks, especially the walk to school to pick up Maya kind of walk, she was not willing to be worn, she HAD to ride in the stroller. For a few weeks I still managed to avoid the double stroller conversation and convinced myself that they could easily ride together in my single BOB, they loved it, right?! I found lollipops were a great way to convince them to work with me 😉

This sharing the single BOB thing worked for a couple of weeks. They even agreed to squish side by side in it most of the time. But they quickly got irritated with being jammed into a seat made for one and started to fight, yell, and generally make walks miserable. Ok, girls point made. I was being forced to suck it up and take the plunge into the world of stroller beasts, also commonly referred to as double strollers.

I did a bunch of research, although I already knew where my research would lead me. I had tried out a tandem, sit and stand style stroller last summer a couple of times but it was difficult to push and had zero maneuverability. After a few days of reading up on my various options I did indeed end up deciding on the stroller I figured I would, the BOB Duallie. The girls love it!! I must admit I do too. I don’t love that I take up the whole sidewalk now, but it maneuvers very well, is super easy to push and no one is yelling and fighting anymore!!

I mean, look at those smiling faces!! I can deal with pushing the beast if it makes them that happy :)

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In the wee hours of the morning when I hear her  cries I bolt out of bed in a half awake, half still very much asleep stupor and stumble down the hall into her room. I am so, so tired and wish I was still sleeping soundly in my warm,comfortable bed instead of dealing with a crying toddler who refuses to sleep through the night. I pick her up and she presses her head firmly into that perfect spot on my shoulder made just for a baby’s heads and sighs as if there is no where else she would rather be. She asks to nurse but since we are working on weaning from night time feedings and it is before the arbitrary time of 3am that I came up with I quietly whisper no and shush her as she cries a little. I rock her gently and she quickly gives in to the fact that she isn’t going to get to nurse, and settles into my shoulder. Her hand wraps around my arm and her breath becomes steady as she returns to the land of sleep.

In these quiet moments I can’t help but think about the fact that she is my last baby. That one day she’ll figure out this whole sleeping through the night thing and moments like these will just be a memory. One night I’ll stumble into her room in the middle of the night to answer her cries and requests for the boob and it will be the last night it happens. I won’t know at the time but it will be the end of an era. Sure there will be times she calls out for me in the middle night but not like this, not to be rocked or nursed. I know I’ll miss these moments when they are gone. I won’t miss feeling completely exhausted but I will miss the feeling of a baby’s body getting heavy against my chest as she gives into sleep. I will miss the sweet smell of shampoo and sweat as I lay my cheek against the top of her head and breathe in her scent. I will miss the hypnotic sound of rhythmic breathing and soft snores. I will miss the feeling of being completely needed and trusted.

In the middle of the night when others are sleeping, when I should be sleeping but instead am on mom duty, rocking my sweet toddler back to sleep, I think of these things and feel lucky to still be needed at 3am. I feel nostalgic for all the moments just like this one that I have briefly spent with all of my girls. These moments can feel endless when you are living them, but when you look back they are so fleeting. Truth be told, I hope there are at least a few more of these quiet moments with my last baby girl in the wee hours of the morning because I’m not quite ready to be done with this phase yet.