Freddie turns four months old this week, we have just celebrated four years of marriage and so it feels like a good moment to reflect on our new life as a family of four.
FOUR – we have TWO children… Whaatttt!?
In short, it is pretty great. I said this on Instagram the other day but transitioning to two children has been so much easier and more natural that I expected.
The things that I worried about haven’t been a problem, and the things that are hard are nowhere near as hard as I anticipated. Phew! I guess that because we were already in ‘parent mode’ and knew what to expect with a new baby it was that bit easier the second time around. We were already well accustomed to nappies, bathtimes, bedtimes, strollers and general parent life that it was just less of a shock to the system. Yes, there is more work (obviously – we have two humans to keep alive now) but we are just so much more relaxed and confident that it makes it all so much easier and more enjoyable.
Freddie is exactly what I prayed for. He is such a chilled, relaxed, happy baby who loves his food, his Mama cuddles and watching his big sister run around the place bringing him ALL the toys.
Honestly, it is us noisy lot (mainly Belle!) that makes him grumpy and stops him from getting the sleep that he wants in the day, poor boy. Freddie bear feeds like an absolute champ (evidenced in those amazing fat rolls) and he loves to hangout in the baby carrier whilst B and I picnic out, explore our city and visit every single park and splash pad in a two mile radius (trust me – there is a lot more than you think and Belle knows them ALL!).
With Freddie, we worry less and enjoy him more because we are so aware of how quickly this precious little baby stage will pass so we are trying to just embrace the chaos and the lack of sleep this time. The first time around it felt like a absolute myth when people said ‘just enjoy it, it wont last forever‘, but this time I really do believe it and I will take all the baby cuddles, even if they are at 3am.
It was a totally a mixture of Belle being a different baby and us being first time parents that made those first few months so much harder with her. At one point I honestly believed that Belle would be breastfeeding and sleeping in our bed until she was 8… but she didn’t.
B has adapted to life with Freddie amazingly. She loves him so much. When she wakes up in the morning she runs straight to our bed to see him and curls up next to him for early morning cuddles.
She will sing to him when he cries and hold his little hand in the stroller. It is so much fun now that he is interactive as he will laugh and giggle with her. I wish that I could bottle those moments.
Although, as Freddie gets more active, he is learning to grab and pull, and often Belle’s hair is the victim or his antics. I have to hide my laughter when she tells him off. She is so serious when she says “No Freddie, no no no no” or “don’t eat your hands Freddie, ewwwwey”. She totally plays the role of mini Mama to him. Again… poor Freddie!
The way that Jono and Belle have bonded since Freddie has arrived has been really incredible to see. They have always been close, but this is something else. Me being busy taking care of Freddie, opened up this precious opportunity for Belle and Jono to have some quality time, just the two of them which they hadn’t really had before.
J and I bring such different things to this parenting gig and it is amazing to see how much Belle has grown and developed since she got some more Daddy time. J is such a great ‘girl Dad’. This girl is fearless, strong and craves adventure because her Daddy encourages her in such a special way. He is flipping amazing.
I couldn’t be more proud of this little squad. We have been living in America for almost a year now and it is crazy how normal life here feels. J loves his job, we love our apartment, we have a phenomenal church and we probably see and speak to family more than we did when we lived in London! Isn’t that crazy. For all of you who live near family… go and visit (especially if you have children!).
I am all too aware that it is totally possible that our children will never remember living over here and so I hope that these blog posts will stick around for them to read one day.
Belle currently has the most amazing NYC skyline view from her bedroom that most adults would be jealous of (including us! she has the best view in the apartment), but she is too short to even see out of the window. Belle, you should know that you had the best toddler bedroom that I have ever seen.
Huge thank you McKay Williamson and Liam for the photos 📸