Thursday, May 29, 2014

You Should Have Another Baby!

If you're a Mommy (or Daddy) friend of mine, chances are I've told you that you should have another baby.

I'm quite the instigator when it comes to reproduction. For a while now, I've been encouraging friends, acquaintances (and the occasional stranger) to add another being to their household. Usually people just laugh off my encouragement. Admittedly, I sometimes get a "you're freaking kidding me" scowl shot back at me. Rarely do people take me seriously - which is fine. Because obviously, it's not my decision. Yet I can't help sharing my opinion with anyone who will listen (whether by choice or not).

So what's the deal with my anti-population control viewpoint? It's pretty simple really.

I'm part of a big family. And I love it. I love it so much that I can't help but wish the same joy on other children in the world.

I grew up as one of five children. Our roles towards each other have obviously changed throughout the years, but have always offered me something extraordinarily valuable.

...My siblings were my first playmates and friends - always coming up with silly games to play, ways to get into trouble (not pointing any fingers at the common instigator here), or things to do to pass the time.

...They were my earliest teachers. People I could watch and learn from while growing up. People who took the time to give me advice or help when I needed it. And people who taught me how to help others in return and how to be a good friend.

...They were my rivals - people I fought with and argued with, but who gave me opportunities to learn, grow and become a better person.

...Today, they're my closest friends. They support me, talk to me and help me - through the little things and the big things. They're there when I need them most (and I've relied on them a lot over the years). They're there when I need a laugh. They're there when I want to have a blast. Because honestly, they're so much fun to be around (we really have a crazy crew).

I know that a single sibling can provide a lot of these things. But when you have more than one sibling, you develop different dynamics  and "types" of relationships with each person. And because their personalities are so unique, you learn different things, get different perspectives and grow in different ways thanks to each of them.

Going off of basic math (more = more), you also have a lot more fun. :) With so many of us in the family, growing up felt like a constant party - with both the chaos and the fun.

I also think that because I had so many siblings, I grew up with the idea of "family" in the forefront of my mind. There's always been a strong family presence for me, which made it something really important. I couldn't imagine any one of us "going off on our own" or becoming distant from each other. Maybe that's more of a product of who we are, but the five of us are closer than some of the people I know who only have one sibling.

So that's it. That's why I'm always trying to convince people (my husband included) why having more than two kids is such an amazing thing. It's because it is such an amazing thing.

I absolutely cherish my siblings, and I truly believe it's one of the greatest gifts my parents have ever given me. ♥

We're missing one. I think Shamu must have eaten him.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Three Months!

This morning, Lauren was telling me that he can't believe Elissa is only three months old. To him, it seems like she's been around forever. Is that a "second child thing"? I remember feeling like time was racing with Brayden - I just couldn't believe how quickly he grew up. 

Whether it's gone quickly or slowly, my little girl is three months old. And it's been a busy past few weeks.

Daddy calls her: Sa-Sa (just like big brother does!)
Mommy calls her: Angel + noun (-cake, -face, -pie) and Sweet Girl
Favorite toys: High contrast picture books, Lu-Lu (her giraffe lovey), the pop-and-play gym, and the keyboard activity mat. The picture books are such a winner with this girl! She adores having them shown to her (especially when her brother lays next to her and holds her hand ♥), and almost always calms down from a crying fit if I sit and read them with her.
She recently started: Laughing at tickles (instead of just at Daddy), grabbing toys, rolling over

So confused! This was Elissa right after she rolled over for the first time.

Sleep story: Elissa is a great night sleeper. Once she goes down for the night, she's set. She wakes once to eat and typically goes right back down. She used to be a great napper, as well. Recently, however, the 1.5-2.5 hour naps have made way for those annoying 30-45 minute ones. (We're currently trying a few things to address this) She's ahead of where her brother was at this time (mostly due to my own knowledge and efforts) and doesn't nurse to sleep anymore. She likes movement though and will fall asleep pretty easily if we walk/bounce with her. Our next step is trying to phase that out.
Eat story: No story. The girl eats like a man. Or a machine. (Choose your simile of preference.)
Budding personality: This little girl is sweet, social, and stubbornly determined. She's so fiesty and adorable; I love watching her try to do something (or adamantly insist on NOT do something). She just keeps at it and won't give up. She might be a little lady, but she's definitely strong-willed. She's also super cuddly, and simply loves attention. She's never happier than when we're giving her love and kisses. :)

Serenaded. ♥