Thursday, April 2, 2020

Fantastic Fourth: Month 4

Yesterday Felix turned 4 months old.  I know I say every kid that months seem to take forever....right now, however, I'm sure it's because our world is on temporary quarantine from the COVID-19 outbreak. (I'm not sure if I'll remember in 20 years that halfway through Felix's fourth month of life everything that has happened--and I'm not really sure that I want to remember any specific details, so for now, just the reference of the outbreak is going to have to do.)

This past month has seen a lot of changes in Felix!  These past two weeks he has not only switched to sleeping in his crib, but he has also started sleeping ALL NIGHT LONG!  With the exception of a night here and there where he wakes up STARVING, he's been sleeping from about 8:30pm until 7 or 7:30am.  I think the pattern we've discovered is that he will have his "dinner" bottle around 5:30 or 6, and then he'll take a little tiny nap.  And then he will fuss and fuss and fuss while the other three go through their bedtime routines (jammies, squeezie, brush teeth, potty, story, bed).  He'll drink another bottle, and then it will be time for him to lay down.  It's a little frustrating that we have to let him cry for a bit while everyone else gets ready for bed, but that's just how it goes with a house full of toddlers!
Right now, Felix and Holt are sharing a room, and Holt thinks it is the greatest thing EVER.  He LOVES just standing by the crib and watching his brother, and he likes it even more when Felix wakes up in the morning.  All of the kids run in there in the morning to look at him when he first starts waking up.  It's pretty sweet (in addition to mildly annoying--because without all of the "aww! He's waking up!  Mommy!  Mommy!  Felix is awake!" Felix would likely stay asleep!).
Felix, unfortunately, doesn't get to spend too much time down on the ground working on the things that babies are supposed to work on (rolling, tummy time, etc) because of his fan club.  He gets stepped on, Astrid tries to jump over him (and she's not very good at it), Gretchen could somehow fall on him even if she was standing on the other side of the room, and Holt tries to share toys with him and ends up whacking him.  The kids can't figure out why he cries so much when they try to "play" with him.
We are pretty sure he can consistently roll from tummy to back.  The back to tummy isn't quite there yet.  He gets himself up on his side and just camps out.
Felix is pretty smiley, and has just recently in the past couple of days started to giggle.  I LOVE baby giggles.
Our chunky monkey is wearing all of Holt's old 3-6 month clothes (interestingly enough, at the exact same time of year as Holt wore them--only Holt was 2 months older).  Felix is a BIG BOY.

It seems like I am finally starting to adjust to four kiddos.  Although, when I really think about it, I don't think it's been very often where we have to parent all four.  Someone is always sleeping!

Happy Four Months, Felix!  

Monday, March 2, 2020

Fantastic Fourth: Month 3

Felix is three months old!  I can't tell if I feel like time is going by quickly, or slowly.  December 1st seems like an eternity ago, so in a way I can't believe he's only three months.  But it's also really confusing, because since both Astrid and Gretchen came after Christmas, I keep forgetting that he had that entire month before.  He just recently sized up into his 3-6 month clothes, and they're just as cute this time around as they were on Holt (who wasn't wearing them until he was 5 months old)!

 Felix still isn't sleeping through the night, but he's only waking up once.  We haven't been able to find the sweet spot yet for bedtime, so I'm not really sure how to fix it.  He gets really angry/tired/hungry right around dinner, so sometimes we'll feed him and he'll be "done" for the next 6-8 hours.  And sometimes it will be like a nap and he'll wake up a few hours later.  When it's the first, he wakes up around 12:30/1:00am and then sleeps until morning.  When it's the latter, he will wake up around 9, and then sleep until 3:30/4:00am and need to be fed.  So, he's getting there, but it sure would be nice to get him regular!
Felix is a happy boy (except for when he's hungry or wants his diaper changed).  He LOVES to smile, and gets really excited when anybody talks to him.  He loves his brother and sisters, and he would stare at his daddy all day if we let him!  He doesn't like to stand up or put weight on his legs (which is annoying because he's really heavy!), except for when you're trying to bend them.  Then they're stiff as a board!

Felix started rolling over from his tummy to his back, and has started trying to roll over from his back to his tummy.  He still sleeps in his bassinet, but we'll need to move him to his crib soon because of this.  I'm nervous to move him, though, because he's still not sleeping all night and I don't want him to wake up the others when I have to go change him and feed him again.  I'm sure he'll figure it out!
Happy 3 months, Felix!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Fantastic Fourth: Months 1 and 2

I went back and forth (and back and forth) about whether or not I wanted to do another 12 months of monthly blogging.  As you can imagine, finding the time to sit down and reflect on the month is getting more and more difficult.  Not just because there are four kids now...but because the other three are at the busy-busy-busy ages that seem to take whatever time there is and use it up so much it feels cut in half!

Felix arrived on schedule (c-section schedule, that is) what we thought was "after" a little virus made its way through our family.  The week of Thanksgiving found us all taking turns being sick with symptoms varying between throwing up, fevers, head-colds, and sore throats.  Everyone seemed to be doing okay by the time we brought him home a few days into December.
We then were thrown head-first into a whirlwind of non-stop sickness that took turns hitting every person in the house at least twice before we all were finally well again (I've marked the date) on JANUARY 14th. 

We are extremely lucky that Felix's first month of life can be summed up in a sentence, because all of my time, effort, and attention was spent on barely keeping the rest of us going.  Between washing sheets, disinfecting surfaces, cleaning toys, catching vomit, keeping up with work at home (because there really isn't vacation when you're the person who cuts payroll and runs monthly statements), and attempting to keep the family fed, we were in a free-fall for over a month!  Not to mention, it was Christmas.  Then, on top of that, our kids don't sleep or rest when they're sick--they just whine and cry a lot, while still somehow being just as busy as when they're well.  And if you've been doing the math, the girls turned THREE and TWO during that month--so you can imagine how that looked.  Everyone thought we were brave for having kids 14 and 12 months apart from each other.  That was easy!  This having babies when you have a TWO and a THREE year old is nothing short of insane!

We would have never made it without mine and Joseph's parents--who thankfully helped us without hesitation and kept us afloat. 

Here's that one sentence, by the way:  After two weeks of (sometimes daily) bilirubin checks, Felix's levels turned normal; and he proceeded to be the most low-maintenance member of the household by only eating and sleeping on a perfect and predictable schedule.
Now, here we are--Felix is 2 months old.  Thankfully, he waited until this past week to let us feel what a 4th kid is like.
Felix spent his first month of life as the easiest baby in the world.  This second month, he's gotten just a tiny bit trickier--but not so much that I'm ready to write him off as not being such a delight.  He's spending much more time awake (and started smiling!), but he's also stopped burping.  But the kid needs to be burped--he just waits until we've tried burping him for up to ten minutes, then laid him down, he's fallen asleep for ten minutes, and then wakes up SCREAMING because he's got a burp ready.  Ah well, if that's our biggest challenge, then I'd say we've got it pretty good.
Felix has a really strong head and neck, but barely uses his legs at all.  Unless, of course, I'm trying to bend them to put them into jammies--then they're super strong.  He seems to be content whether he's being held or not, and really only seems to cry when he's hungry.  Every once in a while, he seems to be really fussy "for no reason" but ultimately, since the only thing that calms him down is feeding him, I'm thinking he's just still hungry. 
Big sisters, Astrid and Gretchen, are always "helping" and wanting to hug, hold, and feed him.  They're surprisingly gentle, although frustratingly insistent on helping. 
I've accepted the reality that pumping or nursing just is not going to be an option for Felix because I can't find the time to do it.  With the kids as busy as they are, there literally is not the 15 minutes I need without someone getting into some sort of trouble.  Did I mention Gretchen got 4 stitches on her nose?  I pump at work, and after the kids go to bed, and then once in the middle of the night.  It barely is enough to feed Felix through one day, so we'll see how long it lasts.  We've been giving him at least one formula bottle per day since we brought him home, so at least we know he likes both options!
I'm curious how long the transition will take for us to adjust to being a family of six.  I feel like the first 6 weeks don't count.  Hopefully we have found a good rhythm by next month!  I guess only time will tell!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Party of Five: One Year!

Gretchen is one year old! She is the first Brevetti child to make it through her first year of life without a pregnant and miserable mom!  But she's also the first Brevetti child to have had to share everything about her first year.  From her toys, to her room.  Gretchen doesn't know anything other than sharing, so maybe she'll grow up generous....?
If you've ever watched the show The Middle, you would be familiar with the character Sue Heck.  Sue Heck is the awkward-as-all-get-out middle kid who has no idea how weird she is.  She looks up to her "cool" older brother, and she does her own thing.  Before Joseph and I had kids, I told him that if I had a daughter, I wouldn't be sad if she turned out just like Sue Heck.  There's just something about her that is so admirable.

And I think that Gretchen will be like Sue Heck.

Gretchen is definitely her own person--and she's only one year old!  She is talkative.  She is funny--she cracks herself up.  She dances to make herself feel better.  She eats everything she's given without complaining.  She has the weirdest hair (that only gets weirder the longer it gets....).  She's easy to laugh at--with her crazy hair and ginormous cheeks, but she is gorgeous.  And she's silly enough that hopefully she'll be the likeable gorgeous (instead of the stuck-up kind).
Gretchen started walking this past month.  She's our earliest walker by 2 months!  She is starting to cut her two front teeth, and they're going to be giant (like Holt's were).  She loves to eat, and she also loves to let us know when she's done by feeding Huckerby (who has seemingly permanently nested below her high chair).  Gretchen has started to try to climb (oh, help us), and she is extremely determined.  I wouldn't put her in the stubborn category like Astrid, but she's definitely got an opinion.

I think that Gretchen is going to be a night owl (much like Holt).  She likes to dance around in her crib until she's too wobbly to stay up, then she crashes for the night.

I predict that Gretchen will be our most hilarious child (taking after her mother, of course).
I also predict that Gretchen will be our instigator.
I predict that she will get in the least amount of trouble because she is just so darn likable (and sneaky).
I tell Joseph that she must be more Italian than the other two, because she is louder and talks way more....and waves her arms around all the time.
Happy Birthday, Gretchen!  We love you!