Meeting Keats for the first time was really special and quite funny, too, as Keats really just wanted to play with the bassinet's wheels. He's has been a very loving and attentive older brother and at times even helpful--handing me a burp cloth or giving Frida her pacifier. Sometimes he's a little too loving and we have to intervene a bit, but we're very happy with how seldom he is angry with Frida and her new place in our family. He loves being an older brother it seems and loves reading I'm a Big Brother by Joanna Cole (thanks Lopez family!) That book has definitely helped us to explain why Frida gets to breastfeed when Keats doesn't as well as the things Keats gets to do that Frida can't.
Having two is definitely a challenge and some days my brain feels a bit fried, but it's so worth it. We're very happy to have our new little lady. One thing that's been extremely difficult is taking pictures! Frida didn't like to be put down for the first five weeks (ugh... my arms are tired) so taking her picture was a challenge, especially with the addition of a crazy Keats. Now that she's more inclined to sleep for longer periods by herself, I'll be able to snap away like I did when Keats was her age. These newfound hands-free moments have meant more "alone" play dates with Keats and his toys. The first day Frida slept by herself for *gasp* two hours, Keats recognized my freedom immediately and we read each and every one of his books--some more than once. Having that time with him was really special and it made me realize what a challenge it will be to show both children adequate/equal attention throughout their lives.
Birch is really a dream. He helps so much and so often--he's a spectacular papa. With Frida so little and dependent on me, Birch has been mostly delegated to playing with Keats. They've had some really fun times since Frida was born: going to the beach (the "big water"), playing in the yard and going for long walks, and major tickle fests when it's just too cold and wintry outside.
Getting our family rhythm back/adjusted is definitely a priority and we're coming along. We're closing in on Birch's winter break from work and I couldn't be happier about that. As usual, the holidays are jam-packed with visiting friends and family, but we're planning on having some quality time at home, too. I love seeing all the people that live so far away. I miss them so much throughout the year. The short time together is never enough, but it's all a part of growing up, I guess. We move apart, build new relationships, families grow, priorities change, etc. Birch and I often disappear from the world but we hope our friends and family know how much we love them. For now, we're still getting to know little Frida as well as our new home. As much as we look forward to seeing those people we love so much, we're also looking forward to some quality family time at home.
What will we be doing?
Building a chicken coop, putting more boxes away from the move, putting up another wall of framed photos, decorating for the winter season, chopping down our first "actual" Christmas tree, and drinking lots of hot cider and mead.
This season is one of my favorites. I hope you are having a wonderful winter and have some truly splendid holidays!
All our love,
Birch, Kristine, Keats, and Frida!