6 days of Faye

We are home. As a family of four.

And life is good. Very good.

Here are some happenings and observations from our first six days with Faye …

* * *

Grandma and Grandpa S. arrived late Thursday night and spent the ensuing days with us, assisting around the house, cooking meals, and playing with Phoebe. They left this morning, and we just finished cleaning and turning over The Hotel, aka Our House, for the next set of guests. Our good friends Ray, Leah and Audrey are en route from suburban Chicago and will spend the next two nights with us.

After spending most of the day at the hospital Friday with Kates and Faye, the grandparents, Phoebe and I headed back to the house mid-afternoon. I spent the remainder of it sleeping on the couch while Grandma played with Phoebe.

“I can’t wake up,” I texted to Kates at one point.

“Me, either,” she replied. “We need the sleep!” … After all, I had only one hour of sleep the night before, and Kates had only a couple more.

Around 6 p.m. Friday, Kates called me back to the hospital. The doctor had given the ok for her to be discharged. After one day. Barely 36 hours after Faye was born.

When I returned to her hospital room, Kates was packing our bags. I took them to the car. A nurse arrived to have us sign the discharge papers. She inspected our car seat, helped us put Faye into it and escorted us out of the hospital.

That was it. It was a miraculous turn of events considering the last time Kates gave birth. We could not have been happier with the way things turned out.

* * *

Faye slept wonderfully during her first night in the hospital. But the first night at home wasn’t so great.

She cried and cried as we struggled to get her to sleep. Finally, around 3 a.m., we got her calmed down, and Kates and I could rest.

I slept until nearly 11 a.m. Saturday. As I arrived in the kitchen, Kates’ mom handed me a fresh plate of pancakes, which I took straight to the dining table without breaking a stride. It was almost like a scene out of a sitcom -- me appearing zombie-like from the stairs and the mother-in-law handing me fresh pancakes right on cue. Classic.

* * *

Even after a week, Phoebe remains pretty much in love with her new sister.

Every time she sees someone else holding Faye, Phoebe wants to hold her, too.

She also likes to shower Faye in kisses. “Sissy kisses,” she calls them.

Some of the best moments continue to develop from Phoebe’s statements, thoughts and questions about this time of our lives.

The other day in the hospital, Phoebe was holding Faye and sitting in the hospital bed with Kates, when she said, “Mom, I’m not really comfortable with you being up here.” … To which, Kates gave her some extra room and muttered, “Pretty much. I’m just chump change to Phoebe now.”

At another point – while she was holding Faye – Phoebe looked at Kates and asked, “Mommy, when are you going to have another baby?” Kates laughed and said, “Let’s wait until we have this one for awhile, ok, Pheebs?”

And slowly, Phoebe – in her own little 4-year-old way – is understanding how much patience and commitment it takes to raise another child. … The other day Kates told Phoebe that she had to feed Faye, to which Phoebe replied with a big sigh, “A-gain!?”

* * *

As a gift to Phoebe, Grandma and Grandpa S. brought a copy of “Annie,” which charmed her immediately.

Already, she’s probably watched it 10 times.

That musical has resulted in a lot of fond childhood memories for me, not to mention the production Kates and I saw a few years ago. ... I'm glad Phoebe's discovering the musical now, too.

* * *

We surprised our church family by showing up with Faye at worship Sunday morning.

We were running a little late and entered the sanctuary just as our dear friend Marjean, who was filling in for our vacationing senior pastor, was giving the morning announcements.

As I carried Faye’s car seat and led the family through the back of the sanctuary, Marjean exclaimed, “Oh, and we have a new baby joining us this morning!” She offered a brief blessing and the congregation applauded.

It was a special moment. That it was initiated by Marjean made it mean even more.

Afterward, friends greeted us and offered more congratulations. But half the fun was hearing people’s reactions to us being at church, just three days after Faye’s arrival. “Nah, they won’t be there today!” one friend told us, recounting a conversation with her husband earlier that morning. But we were!

* * *

I returned to the softball diamond Tuesday night.

I went 3-for-4, including a line drive I smacked – beautifully – over the shortstop’s head into left center field for a double to lead off the game.

The best part, though, was having Phoebe and Grandpa S. at the game. It was a 9 o’clock start, but we agreed to let Phoebe stay up for the occasion. ... Lord knows she might still have been awake when I returned home anyway.

They arrived just as I was taking my opening at-bat and took a seat on the front row of the bleachers. Phoebe clapped and cheered throughout the game, shouting “Daddy!” and waving at me whenever I took the field. It was adorable.

* * *

Throughout this first week, we’ve enjoyed looking back at pictures taken when Phoebe was a baby and comparing those with the new images of Faye.

In some of the photos, it’s difficult to tell the two girls apart if you don’t know better …

The answer: That’s Phoebe on the left, and Faye on the right.

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