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Our new addition is adapting nicely to life in our family and we are all adapting our routines and expectations to blend with his needs.  He is a flexible, laid back baby and everyone loves him!  

While I did not notice significant differences in myself between having 1 child or 2 children, I have definitely noticed some with the 3rd.  

#1    I am WAY more exhausted.  Waking up 3-4 times a night to nurse is taking a greater toll now that I am also entertaining, teaching and caring for the older two all day long. Not to mention, how out of practice I was at living off severely interrupted sleep.  I didn't have time to get used to sleeping through the night between Aubrey and Jackson.  This time around, I've had a solid 1.5 years to enjoy my sleep. 

#2    I have a greater appreciation for coffee.  We enjoy each others company at least 2-3 times a day!  (See #1 for more info)

#3    I am not pushing myself (or him) to develop a schedule.  I am more confident in my ability to accurately interpret his needs and why he is fussing, particularly in regards to eating and sleeping, and I am enjoying meeting those needs at his demand.  I also have the luxury to be with him all day, every day, so I don't have the pressure of creating a schedule for a caregiver to follow.  We follow a loose routine of eat, play, sleep and I leave it for him to decide when he wants to eat, how long he wants to play, and when he is ready to sleep.  I am finding I really enjoy this on-demand "schedule."

#4   For every outing, its worth weighing the option of staying home against going out (specifically going out without the hubby).  For instance, getting everyone up, fed, dressed and out the door to head to church is worth it because once we get there the kids have a great time, learn valuable lessons, and I get an almost 2 hour break. ;)  Outings to parks or other outdoor venues are good too because the kids are free to run and play in a safe area with boundaries and there are very few ways for them to get into trouble.  A shopping trip to the mall is currently NOT on my list of things worth doing. Three kids, a stroller that seats two, maneuvering through tight stores and keeping everyone happy sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Overall, having 3 is great!  Everyone has done so well with the adjustment.  Our days are fun-filled and busy. We are getting back into old routines and creating some new ones.  I love seeing how each child is growing, learning and developing. Life is filled with experiences that stretch and mold us.  It is neat to watch Aubrey grow as a big sister, Jackson learn how to be a big brother, Brandon and I refine our parenting, and Tyler take in this big, new world all around him.  

P.S.  #5  We are still taking tons of pictures (so none of our children should ever feel like, "why are there only pictures of the first child"), but I didn't send a big birth announcement out.  With Aubrey, I feel like we sent a birth announcement to practically everyone we knew.  With Jackson we mailed out about 75 announcements; primarily to family.  For Tyler, I ordered 50 announcements with the intent of sharing the news with family members and friends who were not on Facebook (and worried that was too many).  Can we say, "Third child syndrome meets the technological age?"  Below is your baby announcement. ;)
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