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First Night: I recently read about our first night home from the hospital with Dalton and how terrible it was. The first night home with Arthur was also pretty bad. John held him while I took a nap from 8-10 pm and I was up after that until about 3:30. He ate, spit up, pooped, ate again, fussed whenever I put him down, and then around 1:30 entered crying for no reason mode. This is the first time I think I've ever prayed for half an hour of sleep. But I got it! I slept from about 2-2:30 and after that feeding, he finally settled down for a few hours.

The next day he basically slept from 9 am until 11 am the next day. His second night he woke up every two hours to eat, but that was totally doable after the precious night.

Newborn slee habits aside, Arthur is the sweetest thing. He doesn't have his eyes open much, but he did have some restful alertness today and enjoys listening to his brother, sisters, and daddy talk.

Ironically, I am up writing this because our third night is looking more like our first. Oh well.

R is for Salad:
Dalton: what does that say? (Pointing to a bottle of ranch dressing)
Me: it says "salad dressing."
Dalton: so you can't sound out "salad" because it starts with an R.

It's like all your parenting lies get exposed when your kid learns how to read.

Peace and Pain: I'm not sure I've ever known the luxury of nursing a newborn while the toddler took a NAP. Sienna and her awesome napping skills, combined with an exhausting play date she went on this morning. My other kids are playing at the neighbor's, so the house is quiet.

Luxury is relative though. Getting a newborn to latch while Sienna was barking at me and while trying to give Dalton verbal directions to find the socks he wanted in a giant pile, ranks among my most painful parenting moments.

Arthur at 1 Week: Arthur had his one week appointment with the pediatrician this morning. He's gained 12 ounces since we left the hospital! He's now 8 lb 13 ounces and such a good eater. He wakes up about three times/ night and refuses to go back to sleep for one of them. On average. Hard to say since it's only been a week! John being home a few mornings this week so I could get some sleep helped immensely.

Most of the time, he's either asleep or happy. He hasn't minded the two car trips we took, or his one bath, but he cries during diaper changes. Even the time he refuses to go back to sleep in the night he is usually pretty mellow, but last night he fussed for most of it.

Feeding him is less painful than I remember with the others. We're doing a bottle once a day and I think he's already had more from a bottle than Dalton and Sienna combined. Overall, he's a great baby so far.

Never Wake a Sleeping Baby: And then the pediatrician said, "are you waking him up to feed him?" And I was like, "are you freaking kidding me?"

I Do What I Must: I've been having a rougher recovery with Arthur. Sore, no matter how little I try to do, and bored from doing so little. Then a friend reminded me that I have narcotics. Today was much better! I did whatever I wanted and actually got a lot done around the house, and took a pain-free walk around the neighborhood.

For his part, Arthur has been waking twice a night and taking one long nap during the day. And so have I.

Why and Because: Sienna is a little confused about the why and how of things. If you ask her why she is doing something, she'll repeat that she's doing it, as an explanation. Like so.

Why are you wet?
Because I'm all wet!

Why are your pants inside out?
Because they're inside out!

Why did the bear eat all the muffins?
Because he ate all the muffins.

You get the idea.

Asleep, Asleep: Today I left the house by myself with all four kids. I've hardly even had all four at home with me because John's been helping, and they've been gone a lot (school, and play dates for Sienna). But the kids all had dentist appointments after school so I dragged us all. And Arthur slept in his car seat the entire two hours.

Sienna was reluctant to open her mouth, but eventually overcame her shyness and let the hygienist clean her teeth with the rotating brush and everything. She got a Cinderella toothbrush out of the deal.

Everyone also got dragged to Maggie's piano recital. Maggie did wonderful, especially on the song she'd only been practicing for a week. Arthur slept through the whole thing. Sienna wasn't as crazy as I thought she might be. She didn't have a nap because she went to Disney on Ice (Frozen) with a bunch of her little friends today. One of the moms who was there saw me at the recital and complimented her behavior. She's definitely better behaved than a lot of kids!

Sleep: It's All Relative: Yesterday I took a nap, sort of, for about an hour. I was snuggling Arthur. Maggie and Dalton were home, downstairs playing nicely. I was texting various people, and taking phone calls from Walgreens about my prescription. So it wasn't like I lay down in a quiet room and slept soundly for an hour. But when I got up I was amazingly refreshed. I was actually amazed at the difference.

Last night I got up twice with Arthur, not unusual. He woke up at 11:45 for a little over an hour, and 4:15 for about 45 minutes. Since I went to be (and fell sound asleep) at 8:30 and didn't get up until 7:30, I apparently got 9 hours of sleep! Again, I felt great all morning (it eventually wore off and I had to make do with a 20 minute nap before Arthur woke up). A little sleep can work wonders.

Arthur is a pretty good sleeper most of the time. A newborn that only wakes twice in the night is awesome. Two nights ago he woke up four times, so it's no guarantee, but when three consecutive hours of sleep is a blessing, I'll take it! He likes to be held a lot during the day and I can usually only get him to let me put him down for one long nap (which is why I often end up holding him while I nap).

Speaking of Arthur, he has amazingly rolled off his tummy every time I've put him there, maybe five times. He pulls onto his side from is back too. No leaving this one unattended! He's also started making adorable "ah!" sounds.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!: Over the past few years, "my brother is coming!" has become synonymous with "it's almost Christmas!" in the way that a snowfall might (somewhere else). My brother is coming today!

Knott's Merry Farm: For Christmas, we bought Leonard, Sumana, Rachel and Brett tickets to Knott's Berry Farm. We thought an activity like that would be fun as a family, plus we're all adults and can buy whatever we want, so stuff Christmas gifts aren't as fun. Sadly, the weather apps failed us and it was indeed raining when we got there, and the entire morning. We got wet and the kids wanted to go home when we went to get lunch. Luckily, after one more shower, it started dying out and the sun even came out. We started to watch the 2 minute snowfall in Ghost Town and had churro sundaes and giant ice cream cookiewiches. So overall it was a success.

We got to see Snoopy Santa, the big kids got to do some roller coasters, and John even took Sienna off by herself to do some Nenna rides with daddy. I got to go on a roller coaster for the first time in quite a while (maybe since I snuck my pregnant belly on mine train at WDW?) I went on Pony Express, where you actually sit on a pony and goon the roller coaster. Which is hilarious and also kind of awesome.

We got annual passes for next year so we'll get to go back, and I think everyone else had a fun day overall, too.

Need More Sleep: Arthur might have slept well the first half of the night, but we were up arguing with Maggie who was throwing up. And then he was up for 5-8 his second time. Just when I thought the world might implode, everyone went hiking, I slept for two hours with a baby on my arm in a quiet house, and John brought me back a donut and a pina colada bowl. I can make it through another day.

Silent Night: I didn't get enough Christmas Carol singing this season, probably because I haven't been to church since Thanksgiving. Silent Night is not one of my favorite songs, but it gained some meaning for me this year. This phrase "Shepherds quake at the sight" stood out to me. Can you imagine being a witness to the Savior's birth? Actually seeing the baby Jesus? I would be quaking, too. How amazing and wonderful. The scene where Mr. Kruger imagines this is John's favorite.

I don't understand everything in the third verse, but it made for something beautiful and interesting to ponder while I'm snuggling my own newborn child of God.

Silent Night, Holy Night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

Arthur at 1 Month: It's already been 1 month since Arthur made his entrance in our lives. This morning he projectile vomited so much milk, it came out his nose. So we'll start with that.

He is still sleeping well in his crib at night, usually waking twice. This seems like I should be less tired than I am, but I'm not. I think the odd night where he wakes up four times, or stays up for two hours keeps me in sleep debt. Luckily, John is home enough to keep me from losing it. Arthur doesn't like to be put down much during the day (even for naps), but he has more happy-lying-here time every day. Sometimes he'll lie there for an hour while I get stuff done. Still loves being swaddled. A good swaddle and a walk around the room will put him to sleep if he's tired.

He rolls from tummy to back. He's been doing this since his first tummy time around 1 week, which is crazy! All our babies have been strong and had good head support but not like this. He is the joy of his sisters' lives. Sienna adores him, brings him toys and blankies, and I have had to employ Maggie as a babysitter for the sole purpose of making sure Sienna doesn't smother him with love.

Fat, Tired, and In Pain: I went to the doctor this morning. Apparently I haven't even lost 20 pounds. Only 45 to go! Of course, before I left I was thinking how I'm not even worried about that because all-the-reasons-I-was-at-the-doctor. On the bright side, Arthur (who woke me up six times last night) slept through the doctor and a very relaxing Target shopping trip. John took the kids to Sea World so it's just the two of us. Hoping to run some more errands, or maybe get a nice nap together.

2015: Maggie was baptized, and learned to ice skate, ride a bike and multiply.
Dalton started kindergarten.
Sienna got her own social life with "pee-school", potty trained, became a big sister, and turned on to the good side of spunk.
I grew and birthed a baby, and made our Halloween costumes.
John worked a lot, organized our annual Flashlight Easter Egg hunt and our Christmas service project, and worked hard at his Gospel Doctrine calling.
Arthur learned how to roll over. (That's it, still waiting for smiles!)

We made dozens of Disneyland trips, and spent 9 days at Disney World. We got to go to Utah in the summer for a change and enjoy time with family, Lagoon, and the great outdoors. We interacted with penguins, dolphins, and beluga whales. We bought a van. We spent lots of time at the beach (but not enough, I think), lots of time at the pool, and really a lot of time in the hot tub. We did a lot of hiking and family walks, now bike rides (thanks Santa!) The kids took a little gymnastics, then roller skating and ice skating for Maggie, and tennis for both in the fall.

It's been a busy, eventful year. I'm expecting things to be more laid back next year, with four kids, no plans for the kids' activities and a very low-key vacation planned. We also plan to go to Utah twice, but everyone knows that doesn't count as a vacation. I do hope to get to the beach more. We'll see how that goes with a baby.

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