1. They make a size newborn diaper, which my sweet baby just outgrew. Yes, Claire is my 4th newborn. And yes, I just learned that they made a size newborn diaper. I have never before had a child small enough to fit into a newborn diaper. That cut-out thing for the umbilical cord is really cool--and beats the heck out of folding the top of the diaper down!
2. Just because my first three children are blond, doesn't mean I will always have blond babies. Claire appears to be our first brunette...time will tell if she is going to keep her brown hair.
3. A newborn baby is just about the greatest thing that can happen in the life of an almost six year old girl. It is also very exciting for my two boys, who make every effort to pay attention to baby Claire all day. I am loving it!
4. Hibernating for a couple of months after the baby is born is actually fun. I'm loving all the time with my kids, and for the first time in my life as a mother, I've actually enjoyed staying at our house for days at a time (and I'm a big time extrovert!).
5. If your six week old baby is only waking up once a night to nurse, you should thank God for this special blessing. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
6. Transitions are tough, and it is ok to go easy on yourself, relax your standards, and know that in time life will go back to normal. Take-out rocks.
7. There are an amazing number of wonderful people in my life who have truly celebrated the birth of our sweet baby. Your generosity has been amazing! The meals and gifts are all truly appreciated, and have been given with such love.
8. You will get more baby gifts when you have a baby girl. There is something about a baby girl that makes Aunts and distant relatives, who have otherwise ignored the birth of baby boys, fly to the store and buy baby clothes.
9. When you are overtired and desperate and you ask your 5 year old to get your 3 year old and 22 month old something to eat for breakfast, do not be surprised when you walk into the kitchen and see them all working hard with a pair of child-friendly scissors to cut open one cereal bar after another. Wrappers lie everywhere and the box itself was actually cut to shreads. The cheerios, your intended breakfast food, lie untouched in the pantry. Also, do not be surprised when all three children choose not to eat lunch because they have consumed about $10 worth of cereal bars.
10. Whoever said that once you have three children, and are officially outnumbered as parents, adding an additional child isn't that much more work was lying! My greatest challenge as the mother of 4 children is to make sure I am giving each child individual attention and love. An additional kid makes a big difference in this goal. It is going to be quite a transition.
12. When you do leave the house with all four children in tow, grown adults will often lose their ability to count to four, and ask you, "How many children do you have, lady?"
13. God is good. Claire is beautiful and perfect. Every time I look at her, I am reminded that miracles happen. She arrived naturally almost two weeks earlier than any of my other babies, born on the feast of St. Francis, as predicted by her big sister, Gianna. Since St. Claire was the "sister" saint to Francis, our little Claire will always know that God himself named her. I am reminded of this small miracle almost every time I say her name. Consolations like this are not normally part of my spiritual life, and so I am still thanking God for such a wonderful gift.