Our little Nathan is already one-quarter of a year old! He's getting more fun by the day! He smiles readily at anyone who talks or smiles at him, and he laughs when being bounced up and down or tickled (especially right up near his collarbone).
Nathan's days have seemed to develop a sort of rhythm. He usually wakes up in the morning while the rest of us are eating breakfast and then falls asleep in the car when we're driving Ian to kindergarten. He'll take his longest nap at that point (even staying asleep while we walk Ian into his classroom and back to the car), so that's often when Ryan and I will run any errands that we have for the day.
Nathan seems to readily adapt to whatever we have going on and wherever
we're going. He's definitely a "go with the flow" sort of baby. He doesn't cry much at all, except when he's tired. Once we wrap him up in a blanket, give him a pacifier, and hold him for a few minutes, though, he's fast asleep! Nathan will still take his longest naps while in a moving swing.
He usually takes one or two good naps while Ian is at school, so I can give Ryan some undivided time. :) Nathan is super wakeful in the evenings, especially after his older brothers have gone to bed. Matt and I affectionately refer to Nathan as our "little chaperone." Aside from a half-hour nap here and there, he's mainly awake (and mostly really happy) from after dinner until 11:00 or so. He still wakes up at least twice each night to nurse ... and still spends part of each night in his tired parents' bed. :)
Nathan is getting much more aware of his surroundings. He is interested in watching the stuffed animals dangling in his baby activity gym and will bat his arms at them. He seems fascinated by certain patterns and textures (like the one on our couch), and he loves looking at himself in the mirror. Nathan prefers to be held facing out so he can observe what his brothers are doing. (He still receives lots of love and attention -- mostly gentle! -- from his big brothers.)
He continues to eat well -- and often. He is growing nicely and wears mainly size 6 month size clothes. He weighs about 15 pounds. Friends (and strangers) still comment on his thick, beautiful hair. Most say Nathan looks similar to Ian (and Daddy). What do you think when you see pictures of each of our sons at about 3 months old?
Nathan is certainly getting stronger as well. He will tolerate tummy time for short stretches of time and is able to lift his head way up. He holds his head steady while being held. He also seems to want to pull himself to a sitting position while holding onto our fingers.
Some of Nathan's favorites seem to be ... being held, being "worn" in the Baby Bjorn, sitting in the bouncer (he can really get it to move by kicking his legs!), and taking a bath. He loves when people talk to him and will often try to "talk" and coo back.
How are others in our family adapting to having a fifth member? Mostly pretty well.
Ian adores his youngest brother and loves to talk to and entertain Nathan while he's in the bouncer. It's always Ian's job to give Nathan his pacifier while we're in the car. He takes this job seriously and is quite patient with Nathan.
Ryan is protective of his younger brother and wants to be RIGHT there if someone else is giving Nathan attention. Ryan has come a long way with giving kisses and hugs that are GENTLE, but we still often have to remind him to give Nathan space and use soft touches. :) Ryan is often the first to hear Nathan when Nathan is waking up from a nap, and he will sprint into our room to be the first on the scene -- to stop Nathan's swing or to console Nathan.
In many ways, having a baby is the easiest the third time around for Matt and me. We're not nearly as concerned with schedules, routines, or so-called "bad habits," and hardly anything with little Nathan truly worries us. In other ways, though, introducing another one to the family has made our heads feel like they're swimming. On same days, it's tough to juggle the needs of three children who all need something RIGHT NOW! It's tough to find "couple time" for just the two of us. Earlier this month, we were able to drop Nathan AND our two boys off with some dear friends (who have two kids of their own!) and get our first couple time since Nathan has been born. What a gift!
It certainly has been humbling and amazing to receive offers for so much help. It has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone to ask for and receive help. On a daily basis, people hold doors open, carry things, and push the stroller for me at kindergarten pick-up or drop-off time. One man even raced across the parking lot to pick up keys I had dropped (right beside me) while I was strapping Ryan into his car seat. While the comments about me having my "hands full" can get a little old, I pray that I can someday return the acts of kindness to another momma with three little ones.
Overall, it's hard to even remember what our family was like without sweet little Nathan. He makes our family even more fun! We all love you so much, our Mellow Fellow!