This Month in Lieve: 1 Month Old
Throughout Kahlilah’s first year, I was pretty diligent about writing a blog post each month to update family and friends on her development. I’m going to try to do the same with Lieve, although fair warning that I may miss some of the first few months because we are B.U.S.Y. busy right now.
Since Lieve’s birth (here is her birth story if you want to read it) and after Albert’s 2-week paternity leave, things have settled into a pretty good routine. Albert brings Kahlilah to school, so I am able to stay home most of the day with Lieve. Since she was born 4-weeks premature, weighing just 6 pounds, my day has to be broken into pretty strict 2-hour increments of nursing and napping. Luckily, our efforts have paid off and, after a slow start, Lieve is growing well and just hit 7 pounds. She also had her 1-month check-up last week with positive results: the doctor was pleased with her weight (2nd percentile), length (2nd percentile) and head circumference (5th percentile), and found everything else (eyes, ears, organs, etc.) to be healthy. While she is low in percentile on the growth chart, we are happy that she is at least ON the normal growth chart! Especially considering the chart is based on Dutch babies, in the statistically tallest country in the world.
As must inevitably happen with a second child, we often compare our experience with Lieve and Kahlilah. Overall, Lieve is MUCH easier than Kahlilah was at this stage. (Of course, Kahlilah was born 2.5 weeks earlier than Lieve so that probably contributes to the difference.) Lieve really doesn’t cry too much and is easy to settle when she does, which means that we are actually getting a decent amount of sleep at night. In contrast, we were tearing our hair out with Kahlilah at this stage since she would often cry for HOURS at night, leaving Albert and me ready to tear into each other with how grumpy we were with lack of sleep! As a result, I feel like the marriage stress typically found after a birth is a lot less this time around…which is great considering how much else we have going on right now!
Besides caring for a newborn, we are also getting ready to move back to the States in early September. Typically, preparations start 3 months prior to departure, with each month piling on more and more to-dos. This means that, when Lieve does sleep, I am madly trying to cram in as much organizing, packing, and calling as I can. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t! But, so far, we are in pretty good shape with our to-do list. Luckily, we already have the most important tasks completed: we found a house for us to rent and a school for Kahlilah. We will be living in the DC area for a couple years, and we are excited to be able to live in an actual house for that time (although we are also a bit scared to get back all the stuff we put into storage way back in 2008 when Albert entered the Foreign Service). Because we didn’t have any luck with the DC public school lottery for 4-year-old preschool spots and to get more bang for our housing buck and to be closer to family, we decided to live just over the DC border in Maryland. We were lucky to find a great 4-bedroom, 3-bath house with a den (read: man cave), extra storage and a backyard. The house is walking/biking distance to the Metro for Albert’s commute and to Kahlilah’s school. The school is a great bilingual (English-Spanish) Montessori program—meaning that Kahlilah will be able to continue in the same educational philosophy that she’s had and excelled in while we’ve been in Amsterdam. I’m excited to see how her Spanish develops there, since lately her level of Dutch has surged past her level of Spanish. It’s cool to hear her speak (and sing!) so much Dutch, but I also am anxious for her to maintain and develop her Spanish vocabulary, especially in anticipation of our next trip to Chile to visit family.
Well, I better wrap this up since this 2-hour slot is finishing and it’s time to nurse again! Until next time…