We have been so blessed with a parade of visitors in the weeks since Elli was born. Visitors who have cleaned my bathroom, folded my laundry, played with Lilly June, brought me food, vacuumed my house, kept me hydrated, entertained me, allowed me to nap, and, of course, cuddled sweet Elli.
I’m struck with the realization that aside from a few hours last week, I haven’t actually been alone with Lilly since early July. How strange is that?! To not parent ones child unsupervised in two months… so weird. But our visitors have been excellent with her, and she has been so happy to have other people around to play with!
Nanee meets Elli
Nanee was Elli’s first visitor. She stayed at the house while I was in the hospital both before & after the c-section, and was here to help for two days after I came home. It was much needed help, too — coming home after nearly a month away was so difficult. The house was a DISASTER because of the kitchen remodel, I missed my “nesting” period and was overwhelmed by everything that I had wanted to do upon walking through the door. Pair that with my (completely unrealistic) expectations that I’d walk through the door and everything would be back to “normal” + a healthy dose of postpartum hormones, and there were an extreme amount of tears that first day. I wanted nothing more than to run around the yard with Lilly… or, at the very least, get my stuff put away where I wanted it to be. And, given that I was recovering from abdominal surgery, neither of those things were an option. Instead, my mom helped set up all the things I’d need near my bed while Jason took care of Lilly, worked in the kitchen, and made dinner.
Thoroughly inspecting her tiny sister
Jason had off the week after Elli’s birth, so we got to have a week-long family-fest — just the 4 of us. I would have liked to spend the week mostly in bed, resting, but we were scheduled to have drywall work done nearly every morning that week and since drywall work = dust, we left the house for several hours each morning. Our afternoons were a bit lazier, napping and resting. Or, in Jason’s case, entertaining Lilly, feeding our family, and trying to work on things in the kitchen.
Auntie Ashley meets Elli
Nanee came back to take care of us the following week, and over the weekend, Auntie Ashley also visited to snuggle her new niece and play with Lilly. In week 3, Nanee came back, bringing Grandpa, Uncle Trevor, and Great Grandma for a visit to meet (and snuggle!) baby Elli.
Playing rock show: Lilly on the keyboard, Uncle Trev on the
bug zapper guitar, Nanee on percussion, and Grandpa… is the band’s number one fan
Great Grandma got lots of snuggles in, which means I got some things done around the house! Also: showered and ate!
Uncle Trev and Elli
Grandpa and Nanee discussing important things with baby Elli
Nanee and the girls
Lilly is smitten with Uncle Trev. As in, woke up from a nap crying and wouldn’t calm down until Uncle Trevor just held her for a while. Uncle Trevor was really confused that this was all she wanted, but he played along anyways.
Uncle Trev and Grandpa took our old sink & countertop and made an outdoor mud sink for Lilly — it even hooks up to our hose!! She loves the sink and plays with it every. single. day. Probably one of the best DIY projects ever, and super-cheap if you count the free labor and ignore the cost of all the new stuff that we bought to replace the old sink in the kitchen.
And rounding out our month of visitors, Grammy made an extra-special appearance all the way from New Jersey! Lilly hasn’t seen Grammy since Christmas, and we were all surprised that she warmed right up to Grammy. They’ve been playing ever since. Of course, I’m trying to hand off baby Elli for Grammy cuddles, too, but I’ve dubbed this week “breastfeeding bootcamp” for Elli, who still lacks the strength to properly breastfeed. So I’ve been happy to have an extra set of hands on board to play with Lilly while I concentrate solely on feeding Elli. And I’m even happier that Elli seems to be getting the hang of things (though I’m still having to pump and offer her a bottle several times each day). And, since I’m finally feeling like a normal human being again, we’ve had some really great outings to brunch, the park, the beach, etc, this week!
The girls on the beach!
Elli, sleeping. Note the sand on her cheek, compliments of big sister’s kisses.
We pretty much had the beach to ourselves!
Lilly June and daddy went swimming in the cold cold water, while mama and grammy watched from the comfort of our beach towels.
Grammy feeding baby Elli, who is *finally* at 4 weeks old back above her birth weight. Our tiny babe was a large-and-in-charge 5 lbs 12 oz at last week’s appointment with the lactation consultants.
We are so thankful to our visitors for helping us to adjust to life as a family of four, and for doting on our little girls… It’s certainly made this new transition easier for all of us! But I think we’re also looking forward to seeing what life has in store now that it’s only us! I’ll be glad to fall into a new daily rhythm, and to re-establish myself as mama-in-charge and not just mama-to-visit-in-the-hospital-or-while-she’s-resting.
This is the best the four of us managed to do photo-wise… Not all looking at the camera, but it works. Methinks obtaining the *perfect* Christmas card photos are going to be difficult/disastrous. Yet another thing I may have to lower my standards on… :) (Other things I’ve lowered standards on: the cleanliness of the house, my own personal cleanliness, timeliness, amount of tv watched by and junk food fed to my toddler…)