one month of chase

When I look at pictures of Chase from a month ago, I can already tell how she's grown, how she's fattened up and changed. The newborn puffiness is gone, along with the newborn sleepiness. She smiles (we're up to six times now), she makes wonderful eye contact and she loves being around people. John and I laugh about how she can be perfectly content lying next to us on the bed or sitting on the couch, but the moment we leave she starts fussing. When I talk to John during the day while he's at work, I put him on speakerphone and she responds to the sound of his voice. I know it's thought by every mother in existence, but seriously, I don't know how it's even possible to love her even more than I do, but every day my love for her expands.

I never really worried about loving Austen, my second child. I know that's a common worry among mothers who are expecting their second -- how can I possibly love another baby as much as I already love my first child? Worry, no... but wonder, yes. I wondered how it could be possible. I knew it would happen. But I didn't know how.

If there's any magic in the world, it's the ever-expanding love of a mother. When I was pregnant with Austen, I wondered. When I was pregnant with Chase, I knew. I knew I would love her as much as I loved River and Austen, and that anticipation of the expansion of love in my heart excited me. With your second, maybe you can't see how it is possible to love another little being the way you love your first, but with your third (and fourth, and fifth, sixth, seventh) the idea of that love just growing even more is magical.

For one month (and four days) this sweet girl has been ours. I am so thankful for this precious gift.

She smiled on her 4-week birthday. She's since smiled at all four of us, but so far she is a serious girl like her big sister and these smiles aren't just given to anyone at any time. Ya have to earn them. 

She can fall asleep without nursing -- hallelujah! This is something River could never do and Austen did it occasionally, so when it happens it's regarded by me as a miracle.

She already has a little pattern and I'm able to read her cues easily and predict what's coming next, which is so helpful. She's always happy in the morning and awake for a long time. She naps off and on, mostly on, from about noon until about seven at night. Then she's usually awake and pretty fidgety and fussy,with a little 20-minute cat nap here and there, until about 11 or 10, at which point she has to lie down next to me on the bed and can't settle down anywhere else. At night she usually wakes up twice to nurse, and then she's up again between 7 and 8 in the morning.

Lately our days consist of a lot of nursing and cuddling. We pick Brother up from the bus stop at 3:30, and so for the next four or five hours it's busy busy busy. After I nurse Chase and we bundle up, we walk down to the gravel parking lot and then usually arrive back home at about 3:45, depending on what time the bus arrives. Then it's homework, snack time, book time, nurse, make dinner, eat dinner, clean the kitchen, bath time, and then finally bedtime at 7:30 or 8.

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