1. Going in to check on Jack, only to discover that he has broken out of his swaddle and is sleeping with his arms as far away from being swaddled as they can possibly be. His touchdown arms make me smile every time.
2. The ability that a second child has to sleep anywhere. I call it adaptability. Joseph calls it neglect. However you phrase it, Jack has fallen asleep lying on the couch, on the boppy, and my personal favorite--on the floor. Lilly would never have done this! I don't think I left her alone long enough for her to try. Jack, on the other hand, is often plopped down while I'm putting Lilly to bed, or getting lunch ready, or making coffee...and he has decided to not let these things get in the way of his sleep.
3. The love of an older sister. Lilly adores Jack. She checks on him when he's sleeping. She often goes up to him and rubs his little head, while informing me that she's being gentle. She asks for him to lie on her bed while we're reading books or to sit in his bouncy chair in the bathroom while she's having a bath. She brings him a towel blanket to lie on (I'm still not sure why she calls all soft blankets towel blankets, but towel blankets are her favorite!) and her one. Whether Jack likes it or not, he finds himself covered with Lilly's one, and when he's really lucky, he finds a ribbon from her one stuffed in his mouth.
4. The initiative of an oldest child. Lilly loves bath time. In fact, she often spends anywhere from 30 min to an hour in the bath at night. She's big enough now that she plays in the bath while I cook dinner, or put on laundry, or just try and get the house back into some kind of order after the afternoon's activities. Her favorite bath toys at the moment are these huge straws, which she uses to pretend she's baking or cooking dinner, to blow bubbles...they can be used for pretty much anything. I went in to wash her hair the other day, only to discover that she had washed it herself. She had washed her hair so well that it was almost impossible to get all the soap out. Lilly was very proud of herself, as was I.
5. Lilly's use of nap time at the moment. On days when Lilly decides that she is not tired, she entertains herself in her room for about two and a half hours. I am continually impressed with the things she finds to do in her room, when I have removed toys and books. I've gone in to check on her in the past weeks to discover multiple changes of clothes, towers of books, reorganization of all her drawers, and the most creative use of her time is pictured above. She found Jack's baby wipes stored under her bed, and hung them all around her room--anywhere that had some sort of hook. Oh, and Lulu, the way too lifelike shedding cat, (thank you Edward) had a pencil sticking out of her mouth. I have no idea where the pencil came from or why it was in Lulu's mouth, but I found it entertaining nonetheless.
6. Rediscovering all the things I love about babies. The way they stretch. The way they make the most adorable baby noises. The way the simplest things grab their attention--in this case, the animals above Jack's swing, who he can stare at and talk to for ages. The way they develop real little personalities, even when they're tiny.
7. My sister. Ellie was just in Stamford visiting for a few days and we had the best time. She played games with Lilly, spent lots of time cuddling Jack, and even looked after both of them so I could go out and have a bit of time to myself. We chatted and had beers together and went out and about like we used to (although the mall is not quite the same when there are two little ones in tow). Ellie is welcome here anytime. She's the perfect kind of house guest and I miss her already.
8. A Dad and his son. I love seeing Jim with Jack and every day, I am convinced they look more and more alike. Jack's hair is even starting to have a red tint to it. These two are pretty cute together.
9. Christmas! There will be many more pictures to come, but this is from last night when we were decorating the Christmas tree. Lilly put a few ornaments on the tree, and then a few ornaments on Jack. Christmas has an added sparkle to it when seen through the eyes of Lilly and Jack. Lilly gets so excited she can barely contain herself, and ends up jumping up and down and doing "cool tricks" when she talks about Santa.
10. Being healthy. I have to throw this one in here because over the last 9 weeks, since Jack has been born, I have recovered from having Jack, had colds and infections, and finally, this week, feel healthy and like myself again. It might have been Lilly's constant use of her doctor's kit to check my blood pressure and listen to my "heart beep" that made me feel better. Or, her daily request to feed me my vitamins. It might have been the longer stretches of sleep that I'm getting or the extra cups of tea that Jim made me. Whatever the reason, I am indeed thankful to feel healthy again.