I have three children, so you'd think I'd have been expecting this, but it caught me by surprise this time. I think I expected to just roll Julianna into my family and love her just like I love the other two. I remember this stage now with both the other two. There's a period of infatuation, I think, with a new baby and Julie and I are head over heels these days. She's reached the point where contentment is mostly found in my arms, it's her favorite place to be. And I'm lost in her big blue eyes, fascinated by the expressions on her face, and awed by the personality that's peeping out at me more and more.
We've moved out of the newborn baby stage. The stage where there are only really four needs, she cried only when she needed a diaper change, a burp, or to nurse to sleep. And she was always either crying, actively getting one of those needs met, or sleeping. She'd have brief stages of alertness, but mostly, that was about it. But now - now she likes to be chatted with. She likes to sit on my lap and gaze contemplatively at me. She likes laying on the floor, in the center of the living room, with all the action going on around her. She likes lullabies and her ducks on the swing. She's so gorgeous, just so incredibly, drop dead beautiful, that it takes my breath away.
Sam's really grown into himself lately as well. Suddenly, he's this big huge boy, with these little pools of tenderness and sweetness hidden among all the superheros and shooting the bad guys and wrestling with Daddy. He's still endlessly interested in his sister, and wants so badly to be a big helper like Jessie. He's desperate to change her diaper all by himself, and loves announcing "I think her wants me" when she starts crying. He loves being her big brother. He's very focused on the boy next door these days, Brian is seven and Sam's developed such a boy crush on him. Brian is his hero these days, he's got super cool shoot guns and runs and plays and fights the bad guys and Sam can't get enough of him.
Jessica is such an amazing help to me. She's totally going to morph into being this child's second mother, because she just assumes that it's her job to step in when I don't do it fast enough. If Julie starts fussing in the swing, Jess picks her up automatically and calms her down. She's perfectly capable of changing a diaper, really, she does a great job. I have to remind myself that she's only seven. She's still capable of a full blown temper tantrum, but more and more, she's growing up. She's smart and sweet and funny and I am still surprised by how much she's capable of.