This little girl is quite the personality! She’s incredibly strong-willed and not at all patient about anything she wants. Everything. Must. Happen. Right. NOW. When nursing she throws her self back and screams at me in the time it takes for me to have her switch sides. Every time. When she wants to nurse and is screaming and crying all I have to do it ask “do you want some milk?” and all the tears stop and when I lay her down to get started she gets so excited she starts to giggle.
Reese loves dancing to music. Whether it’s when Asher is singing to himself or a song on the radio, Reese will bounce, bop and sway to the tune. We’ve had to barricade the stairs because all she wants to do is go up and down them. And up and down and up and down. It’s never-ending, but since I’m convinced we don’t need baby gates, we’ve had to use the kid’s little rocking chairs at the foot of the stairs to keep her on the main level. She’s actually remarkably capable on the stairs and goes up and down perfectly and FAST, but it still makes me nervous.
Reesey Pea now both blows kisses and gives me huge wet sloppy kisses and I love them both. It’s just so fun to see her personality develop. She loves clementines, drinking water from my glass, green smoothies and basically eating anything just as long as she’s allowed to feed herself. She still doesn’t eat a ton but it’s definitely picking up.
Reese’s sleep has been AMAZING! If I was the superstitious type, I’d be almost afraid to write about it for fear of ruining it. Reese had hit yet another bump on the sleep road and had started waking up at night and not going back to sleep for two hours. Yea, it was brutal. She didn’t want to play she just wanted to be held and the second she was put down she’d start screaming. As a matter of fact, she’d often be screaming even when she was being held. She probably wanted to be nursed but I wasn’t about to undo the night weaning…is it clear yet where my kids get their stubborn streak from? Anyway, so this was going on for weeks and we had tried so many things and finally, I just had had enough so I left the room and when back in at five-minute intervals and just kept doing that until she fell asleep. I also offered her her water bottle, though she probably only took it once. But after that night, she has been a dream! I put her to bed and walk out and she’ll either just go to sleep or babble and coo to herself for a little while before falling asleep. It’s been AWESOME!
This child is still all gums without even so much as a little redness or inflammation and because of this, I think she looks quite a bit younger than she actually is and I kinda love it. She’s already growing up too fast! I can’t believe I only have one more monthly update to write!
So I’m only two and a half weeks late with this monthly update. Everything seems like so much more effort with the third. Even so, Reese is such a funny little thing and a joy to be around.
Reesey Pea, is very stubborn and quite vocal about her preferences. She’s very serious around most people just but when she’s comfortable with you she can be quite the little ray of sunshine. She still screams to get your attention, which isn’t too pleasant, but I guess when you’re a third child you have to find ways to be heard above the cacophony.
Reese waves bye-bye by holding her arm out straight and the flapping her wrist but it’s the way that she asks to be picked up that really gets me. She extends her arms towards you and flaps her wrists and looks at you with such longing with those big brown eyes of hers that it pierces your heart.
This little one still isn’t eating all that much, but I’m thinking she probably eats a normal amount for a child her age, whereas Asher and Bennett were the oddballs with their consuming massive amounts of food. I’m such the fact that she’s still all gums doesn’t help anything either. She makes do, for the most part, mashing her food with her gums, but there are some foods that just prove too challenging. I mean, she doesn’t even have a hint of a tooth, but I’m really starting to relish her toothless grin. As cute as that first tooth will be when it comes I know a part of me will be sad that she’s moving yet another step away from infancy.
Reese is so dainty and petite and I’m really cherishing the feel of her tiny body in my arms, I only wish she were a cuddly child. She has no issue voicing her displeasure when I kiss her one too many times.
We went to Texas for a friend’s wedding which meant we left the kids with Raf’s parents and my mother-in-law put Reese to bed and although she did fuss a bit they were able to do it! So that definitely opens up a whole new world of possibilities to us. It’s nice to know that even though she won’t take a bottle, she is able to go to sleep without being nursed as long as I’m not there.
This little girl is either constantly on the move and getting into everything or she wants to be held and not put down at all. She has a strong preference for me and I often have to hide when most other people are holding her because if she sees me, she’ll want to come to me. I’m trying to savor this clingy-ness because I know it won’t last and one day I won’t be her favorite person anymore. And now I’m feeling all the feels!
This past month has been a busy one for this little girl. She started crawling and what started out with ridge robotic movements soon became a quick efficient crawl. She’s a girl on a mission. She crawls up to things, pulls to standing and get’s into all sorts of stuff she shouldn’t. We have to keep out guard up constantly and are trying really hard to remember not leave anything within grasp. I haven’t yet put up baby gates on the stairs, I was able to get away with it when Bennett was a baby and I’m half hoping I can do the same this time. Although the stairs we have now are much steeper and longer…so we’ll see. For now, we have been managing by keeping the doors shut.
Reese is such a petite little thing. When Bennett was 9 months old, she was the same length but was about 3 pounds heavier and Asher was the same length and weight as Reese when he was 6 months old. She definitely doesn’t eat as much as her brother and sister did at her age, but she’s growing and is a generally happy baby.
Reese has deep soulful eyes. They make her seem wise beyond her years. You often get the impression that she really sees you. She tends to observe a lot, with a very contemplative expression on her face. When she meets someone new she often tends to just look at them as though she’s summing them up. This behavior is once again in stark contrast to Asher and Bennett who were often very bubbly and warm. Reese is SUPER wriggly. She barely stops moving and doesn’t seem to be particularly cuddly much to my disappointment.
Reesey Pea still nurses on demand and sleeps fairly well through the night. Occasionally waking up but she doesn’t need to be nursed to put back to sleep, although she definitely has a harder time sleeping than the other two. I have to keep reminding Raf and myself that we shouldn’t compare her to them. Clearly, I’m not doing a great job of that.
Raf, Reese and I went to Colorado for 4 days while A and B stayed with my parents and it was so nice to be able to spend time with just her. Although we were recovering from the stomach bug that she so generously shared with the family and wrecked havoc as it made it through each and every one of us. It was just really nice to be able to spend our time as we pleased but we did miss the older two terribly. I couldn’t shake the feeling that we left something behind. While in Colorado we drove through the Rocky Mountain National park and it was spectacular! We saw lots of elk and took pictures at the summit which was 11,000+ feet. It was pretty amazing. We also met up with some friends and they took us on a bike ride through Denver that was pretty awesome.
Reese has started signing “all done” and clapping and we’re working on waving ‘hi’ and ‘bye’. It’s also becoming very clear that she understands quite a bit, which is pretty cool. This little one definitely doesn’t like being away from me for too long and is starting to display strong signs of separation and stranger danger. What can I say? She loves her Mama and I’m not complaining!
Reese is such a sweet little thing with a big personality. At first, she’s a tough nut to crack but once you’ve gotten past her stoic outer shell she becomes all crunched nose smiles and sweet babbles. She likes to pinch and pull hair, which isn’t too pleasant, to say the least.
This little one still doesn’t have any teeth, and even though she’s been drooling a lot her gums aren’t red or inflamed so we’re still waiting. The lack of teeth doesn’t hold her back at all. She pretty much exclusively finger feeds now and eats table food with us, mashing her food with her gums. Her fine motor skills have developed beautifully and it’s such fun to watch her stuff her face. We went peach picking last week and she ate 3 whole peaches!! I was kind of shocked.
Her primary mode of getting around is by rolling, but she often gets super frustrated and just screeches. I keep reminding her that she’s a human being and not a car brake but she pays me no heed. Ever determined to do things in her own way and in her own time, she has pulled to standing before even crawling. What can I say? She’s her own person.
She’s starting to develop separation anxiety and definitely has a strong preference for mommy over anyone else.
Reese is sleeping 10.5 hours at night and get’s up at 6 am and which point I bring her into bed with me and nurse her while I doze a while longer and if I’m really lucky she’ll fall back asleep for another hour or so.
Asher and Bennett can’t get enough of her and Asher, in particular, is very protective of his baby sister, often singing her sweet little made up songs to cheer her up. One morning I woke up at 6:30 am not to the sound of her cries but to Asher sitting by her crib and singing to her to keep her company. My heart just about burst!
We’re so loving getting to know our sweet Reesey and I’m trying to cherish every moment with her, but I find it’s quite hard to give her the same focus and attention that I gave her siblings. Life with three is a joy but no joke.
It only just occurred to me that I forgot to include her piggie in her 7-month photoshoot. Alas, I guess forgetting things is par for the course with being a mom to three.
Reese has really blossomed this month but it was a rocky start. We started off the month with a lot of stress, Reese was just getting over her second of back to back ear infections, which meant she was all around quite grumpy. At one point I was becoming increasingly worried that she may have a chronic illness (mainly, cystic fibrosis) or a mental disorder. But then seemingly overnight, the clouds parted and my little girl brightened up. She became so much more personable and social. She started laughing much more readily and smiled easily. It was like we were finally connecting. It was a HUGE weight off my shoulders, to say the least.
Reese started solids this month and let me tell you, it has been quite the struggle. She so clearly wants to take part in meals, and she loves gumming food, but she doesn’t actually want to swallow any of it. Just another way that she is markedly different from her brother and sister. Her first food was avocado and she seemed to like it but didn’t want to swallow it. In fact, it’s been near impossible to get her to swallow anything. Either, she spits it out the second it goes in or she’s so mad that it’s in her mouth that she throws it all up anyway. The. Struggle. Is. Real. We took a break from solids for a couple weeks and when we tried again, we had similar results. She wants it, but she doesn’t want it. I’m hoping we’ve finally turned a corner. This past week she actually started swallowing a little bit! I’m actually able to get some food into her! Her poop still isn’t transitioning from breastmilk poop, but it’s a start!
Mid-month, I night weaned her. I knew going into it that it wouldn’t be as simple as night weaning Asher and Bennett but I still wasn’t fully prepared for how willful she is. We moved her into the kid’s room and into her own crib. The first night, she woke up 3 times and was awake for over an hour for 2 of those times. Every night after that she would only wake up once but would stay awake for 1-2 hours screaming while I rocked and soothed her. Finally, after about 10 days on a Friday night, I asked Rafaan to get up with her (I was only half serious and was pretty sure I’d be getting up). I awoke the next morning to find Rafaan asleep in the kid’s room and I hadn’t heard Reese at all. Come to find out she did wake up, but Raf picked her up, for a minute, put her back down and then patted her butt for 2 minutes and SHE WENT BACK TO SLEEP!!! At this point, I congratulated him on his promotion to night shift. Since it was a long weekend he got up with her the next few nights all of which he was able to get her back to sleep fairly quickly, with the exception of the one time that she woke up at 5:30 a.m. and fussed until I got up and nursed her at 6:15 a.m. or so. After that, she started sleeping through the night. it’s been kind of amazing. All 3 kids share a room and that’s been going really well also. They’ve only woken her up a couple times and we’re able to get her back to sleep pretty quickly for the most part. Hallelujah!!
Both my grandmother’s are visiting this month and it’s quite special that Reese has been able to spend some time with them. She is starting to scoot and scootch along on the floor on her tummy. I think she’s still a ways off from crawling and no teeth to speak of but she’s definitely starting to widen to roaming radius. Reese is very much a Mommy’s girl, just like her sister Bennett was. She does this funny thing where she’ll be fussing with someone else and I’ll go pick her up and she immediately stops fussing but then rotates her body to look back at the person that was just holding them with this almost smug look on her face. It cracks me up. She’s also taken to holding her arms out and waving her hands about in elegant little circles, almost like she trying to practice a Persian dance. She really is such a delight and I just can’t get enough of her sweet snuggles!
This little girl is FINALLY a smiley baby. She is definitely still more serious than either of her siblings but she’s really starting to smile and I love it. She’s still stingy with her laughs but for some reason, Bennett can have her in a fit of giggles by playing peek-a-boo with her and it is probably the sweetest thing on the face of the planet. Always grabbing at food that we have with us,
Reese developed quite the interest in people food this month. Always grabbing at food that we’re eating and since I’m SOOOOO late in posting this, she has started solids, but you’ll have to wait for her 6-month update to hear all about it, but let’s just say it’s been quite the ride.
The dreaded sleep regression is behind us!! I think the turning point was when I started putting her to sleep on her tummy. She can roll back and forth on her own anyway, but something about being put down on her belly as opposed to her back stopped her from waking up the second I placed her down. I also spent a lot of time this month working with her so that she would be able to fall asleep without nursing and that has also helped a ton. Reese now naps in her crib and sometime in the next few weeks, I plan on night weaning her, which I hope will result in her sleeping through the night (fingers crossed). I must admit, I have mixed feelings about moving her into her own bed at night. On the one hand, I know that once she crawls things will only get more challenging (she has already fallen out of our bed once in the middle of the night). But on the other hand, I’m really loving all the snuggles.
Reese developed a double ear infection and possibly strep this month, which needless to say was not fun. She did however finally kick the chest congestion that had been lingering for 2 months (halleluja!). The worst part about her ear infection aside from her obvious misery was getting her to take her antibiotics. If I could get her to swallow it without immediately spitting it out (which let’s be honest, was near impossible) then 2 out of 3 times she’d vomit it up in a fit of rage. Giving her medication quickly became the worst part of my day.
Reesey is getting stronger and likes to sit upright now, although she will still tumble over onto her face after a while, so I have to be vigilant. She loves to put her feet into her mouth and will often be seen sucking on her big toe, which is super adorable.
Asher and Bennett continue to dote on her. They love her so much and are so intent on demonstrating that love that poor Reese often has two sticky and loud people in her face, smothering her with attention and affection. She truly in the apple of their eyes.
5 months old! How is this little girl five months old already?! Where is the time going? This past month has been one fraught with many challenges, mainly due to my knee surgery but also in large part due to Reese’s sleep regression (although, things are finally looking up on that front!!). Juggling 3 children under 5 while being immobile has been one of the greatest trials of motherhood, it has made me so thankful for all the blessings in my life. Being temporarily laid up has really put things into perspective for me. My cousin Dana (who’s a super human) and my mother-in-law both came and stayed with us this month to help out during the last 2 weeks I had to be on crutches. They were both God sends and I’m just so blessed to have such a wonderful support system. While I’m off crutches now, I’m still in a straight leg brace and have to ‘peg leg’ around, but still, this is a VAST improvement.
Reese loves to roll over now. If I put her down on her back, she’ll quickly roll over onto her tummy and then immediately start protesting the fact that she’s on her tummy. She can roll back over, but for whatever reason, she simply doesn’t and instead has decided that screaming to be rescued is the way to go. This girl has a flare for the dramatic, I can already tell.
We got her a jolly jumper this month and every time I put her in there I can barely hold back my own giggles, she looks like a teeny tiny river dancer while in it. It’s hilarious but she absolutely loves it!
This baby will not take a bottle, which is a problem because with her sleep so erratic I never know when she’s going to wake up and need to be nursed, which means I’m afraid to leave her with anyone and Raf and I are in sore need of a date night. She has been sleeping a bit better. I generally am able to nurse her and then put her down in our bed, surrounded by a pillow blockade, and she’ll drift off to sleep happily. This is fairly new though so I’m still hesitant to rock the boat and attempt to put her to sleep in her bassinet. Lately, she’s been doing a 3 hour stretch in the evening, which is way better than the waking up every hour that she was doing last month. However, even that isn’t consistent and therefore can’t really be relied on. She’s basically moved into our bed and she seems quite content to stay there.
Reese continues to smile more and more but she’s a tough crowd when it comes to laughing. I mean I’ve only been able to make her laugh heartily one time and have been able to illicit the barest of giggles a handful of time and usually only be tickling her, at which point, it really only seems like she’s doing it to make me stop. She’s my serious girl for sure.
Asher and Bennett continue to fawn all over Reese and it’s basically the sweetest thing ever. She’s a very good sport about it, even when Asher insists on picking her up, or rolling her over (to rescue her from tummy time) and inadvertently hurts her, or when Bennett sit on her for reasons only she knows. Reese is certainly a luckly little girl and we’re clearly all obessed with her.
This past month has been quite the adventure. We spent the first three weeks in Texas where the weather was warm, it was quite the welcome respite from the cold and snow of Maine. The kids spent nearly every waking moment outside and often asked to walk to the playground twice a day. We all really needed it. The tension my body completely unwound. Raf’s family spoiled us rotten and took such good care of us, Raf and I even got to see four (!!) movies and go out at night a couple times without any children. It was amazing! While we were there we spent a couple days in Austin, TX and in addition to visiting some dear friends, we basically ate at as many vegan places as we could. A few days after getting back home I had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, which means I’ll be immobile for 6 weeks!!! I can’t put any weight on it for 4 weeks, and therefore I’m basically useless and can’t even carry Reese around. Thank God for all the help we’ve been getting, my sweet sister-in-law making us dinners, friends coming over and lending a helping hand, my cousin bringing us food while entertaining the kids and my mom and Rafaan, who have been real MVPs, doing anything and everything to keep this place running. If that isn’t challenging enough, we’ve all come down with epic colds. Reese is running a fever of 103 and vomits every time I try to get some acetaminophen or ibuprofen into her. So, while we started this month on a high note, we’ve ended with quite the challenging situation on our hands.
Reese has really blossomed this month. She smiles readily and we’ve even been able to get her to laugh a handful of times. When she really gets going she makes the most adorable snorting sounds. She started off this month going down to sleep at 7:30, falling asleep peacefully on her own and not waking up until 11:30pm, but since then a sleep regression hit and has since been compounded by the fact that she’s sick, she really only sleeps if I’m right next to her and I’m not really able to work on getting her back on track (and I wouldn’t until she was well again anyway) since I’m not able to pick her up and soothe her very easily.
This month Reese rolled over from her tummy to her back, she still hates tummy time and now has a way to get out of it lickety-split. She drools constantly and soaks through all her clothes, so my mom made her a couple drool bibs that she wears on rotation.
Reese sings the sweetest little cooing songs to herself as she’s falling asleep. Every time she starts Asher will point out that she’s singing her “sleep song”. She’s kinda over the pacifier this month. She takes it occasionally but for the most part, she’s content without it (this last week when only my boob will soothe her notwithstanding ). She still seems to have the exact same amount of hair that she had had birth, no more, no less, so I’m definitely interested to see what happens with that.
This girl is quite proud of her long tongue and when she’s happy, her tongue will be out. It’s so silly and cute and uniquely her. She likes to claps her hands together and every time she does this Asher will exclaim: “Look, Mommy! Reese is being reverent!” She still hasn’t figured out how to grasp anything else yet but I can tell she really wants to.
I fall more and more in love with her every day and I’m really savoring this time with her, because I know all too well just how fleeting it is.
Rafaan and I like unique names. We also feel strongly that a name should have a positive meaning.
Asher is a Hebrew name meaning “happy, blessed, fortunate” and since we met and got married in Haifa, Israel we felt that this was only fitting. Ash, we also felt was a nod to his Persian heritage and Asher also has Arabic roots, meaning “wise or knowledgeable.” Furthermore Ash is a type of tree, and when I was pregnant with Asher I said a prayer for marriage every day that has a line in it that states: “…that there may branch out from this great tree boughs that will grow green and flourishing through the gifts that rain down from Thy clouds of grace.” So Asher just felt right to us. It was the first name we thought about and really was the only name we ever seriously considered. At the time it wasn’t common, but apparently, everyone else had the same idea and it’s now a fairly trendy name, much to my displeasure.
Nathan is my paternal grandfather’s name. I was very close with him and love him dearly. He passed away nearly 9 years ago, but I still feel strongly that he played a part in bringing Raf and I together. He was a wonderful human being and made everyone he encountered feel special. Nathan, also happens to be a Hebrew name, meaning “God’s gracious gift.”
Bennett is latin from the root Benedictus, meaning “blessed.” We first came across this name years ago, when our friend Kent mentioned that he liked the idea of naming a girl Bennet, after Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (our Bennett is not in fact named after that Bennet). When I was pregnant with Bennett, but before we knew we were having a girl, Kent was over one night, which I think reminded Rafaan of the name, and he stated that he liked the name Bennett for a girl. I agreed and we liked it even better once we found out what it meant. When we found out we were having a girl, we never even considered anything else (although it did take a while to decide on how we were going to spell it). Bennett just felt right. We both like non-traditional names for girls and names that may more commonly be used for boys. Bennett may be slightly trendy as a boy name, but we’re confident that it’s fairly unique as a girl’s name. In addition studies have shown that women with sexually ambiguous names tend to be more successful than their effeminately named female counterparts in typically male dominated fields. This and this are interesting reads. This certainly didn’t influence our name choice, but instead just affirmed it. However, I certainly hope that by the time Bennett is old enough to get a job her name won’t matter.
Rose is latin meaning “rose, a flower” and since Bennett is a somewhat long and masculine name, I wanted a short and feminine middle name. I really liked how Bennett Rose sounded, but I didn’t want her middle name to be arbitrary, rather I wanted it to hold significance or be after someone we loved. We tested out a few other middle names, but none felt right and then I was saying a prayer for children and realized that the rose in fact is mentioned in many Bahá’í prayers and Writings. Furthermore, the Bahá’í Shrines are scented with rose water and the gardens at the Bahá’í World Centre (where Raf and I first met) are filled with roses. So, we liked that the name Rose was a nod to where we met as well as the fact that it holds special significance in Bahá’í texts. We also liked how it’s a fairly old, traditional name and felt that it brought balance to the more recent, trendy name of Bennett.
Reese is English/Welsh and means, “ardent/ardor, passionate, enthusiastic, fiery.” We first considered this name when we were expecting Asher. We had a list of backup names that we would use if he was born and we felt that Asher just didn’t suit him. Reese was one of those names. We obviously didn’t end up using it. But of all the names on that list, it was the only one that I continued to like over the years. When I got pregnant with Reese I decided that I really wanted to wait to find out the sex of the baby. With this in mind, Raf and I decided we would pick one gender neutral name that we could use for either a boy or a girl and then we would pick two middle names to go with it. In keeping true to form with our naming history Reese was the first name I suggested and it just felt right. We did toy with one or two other names, but we kept coming back to Reese. Raf was convinced that we were having another girl and really wanted to find out the sex to prove that he was right. He finally wore me down and we were overjoyed to find out we were having another girl!
Marie is the French and Czech form of Maria, which in turn is a form of Mary which is derived from the Hebrew Miryam and means “wished for child.” When I was in labour with Reese, Raf suggested we give her the middle name Marie. Up until that point, we had been going back and forth between Olive, Olivia and Jasmine as middle name options. But none of them felt quite right. We like Marie, because just like with Bennett Rose, we feel that it brings a nice balance to her name. We gave her the middle name of Marie as a mash-up of sorts between the names of several notable women. First, Virginia Maria (pronounced Mariah) Breaks, who was the Knight of Baha’u’llah for the Western Caroline Islands. When I was a little girl, she lived with us at the end of her life and I came to love her deeply. She was an amazing woman and really like a third grandmother to me. Next is my maternal grandmother, Mary Evelyn Hardy. With Asher named after my paternal grandfather, we felt that it would be nice to honor my mom’s side of the family. Grandma Mary is a remarkable woman. I’m named after her, with my own middle name being Mary and we felt that it was a nice way to pay tribute to my Mom by naming our daughter after her mother. Lastly, she is also named after Queen Marie of Romania, who was the first Royal to recognize Baha’u’llah. Reese is quite the lucky little girl to be named after such incredible women.
Anvari is Iranian and means “something that has been set alight.”