I'd say the time flew by, but in truth it's been a long 10 months. Although I have handled having an infant much better this time around, the fact remains that I am not a baby person. And if you can have this baby and not be a baby person, you REALLY aren't.
He's delightful. He is nearly always happy as long as I am within touching distance. He claps and waves and (hilariously) growls and is starting to sign back to me. For a huge skeptic of baby signing pre-Pacey, I am a strong supporter of it now and there is such a thrill when you see the look on a baby's face the first time they realize they can communicate that way. He is crawling and cruising and into absolutely everything and I have a feeling he's going to be a challenging toddler. I'm biased but I think he's adorable. I feel ok saying that because he sure as heck didn't get his looks from me. He has surprise curls that pop out after his bath and an infectious grin and my lands his eyes are blue.
I have been stretched to my mental and emotional limits this year. A needy baby and a precocious 4/5 year old that thrives on nonstop interaction has really tested me. Most of the time I still don't feel like I'm getting the balance right but my kids are undeniably happy and I suppose that's the most honest measure of all.
I still don't put enough towards myself. I need to prioritize the things that allow me to breathe more freely: quiet time, exercise, time with friends I relate to. The components of my life are so good: strong marriage, happy and healthy kids, beautiful house in a place I'm proud to raise my family. But unless I take care of my own brain I really can't enjoy them to the fullest.
We're on the brink of a new season in a lot of ways. Summer, with its different routine, both more and less restrictive at the same time. Three short months and then five days each week with just me and the baby. That too, will be harder and easier at the same time. A little more quiet time for me, but two kids with two schools and two separate sets of educational needs.
I meant to write about the baby but I guess this is sort of the nature of the third child...caught up in the chaos of the rest of the family. Archer, I love you. I'm so glad we have you. You complete our family in the best possible way.