It's been wonderful to see how both Clara Anne and Chloe have taken on the role of big sister. They have actually been a help to me at various times! Clara Anne especially takes seriously her responsibility to help Christin be happy and will sing little songs to Christin, bring her favorite blanket to put over Christin, and entertain her the best Clara Anne knows how.
The other night I had my first experience with Clara Anne and Chloe actually "watching" the baby at a time when I needed some help. I had fed Christin at 4:30pm and she was awake, but a little fussy. She would have preferred to be held rather than propped on the bed with a Lamaze toy to look at. But I needed to finish getting supper on the table, so I asked Clara Anne to go in and sing a song to Christin, with strict instructions not to touch her. I checked on her a minute or two later, and Chloe had joined her. They had gotten their stepstools from the bathroom, climbed up on the bed next to Christin, and were singing to her. I checked again a few minutes later (I could still hear Christin fussing) and both of them were sitting around her, with their hands folded sweetly in their laps, gazing down with adorable expressions at baby Christin.
About 5 minutes later, supper was ready, and so I told the girls they could get down and I would take care of Christin now. But Clara Anne said, "Mommy, Christin fell asleep!" And sure enough, the girls had put her to sleep! (Well, sort of, anyway--I guess we can't give them all the credit!) I transferred her to her crib and we all then had a peaceful supper.
It's been a blessing to me how I've seen them really love Christin and so far, there hasn't been a hint of jealousy. Clara Anne, particularly, is really protective of the new baby and I think will be even more of a help to me as Christin (and Clara Anne) gets older.
By the way, the adjustment to having three is going quite well. We seem to have found a pretty good rhythm of feedings/awake time/nap time that fit well into our pre-existing family life. Christin also seems to be (I say "seems to be" since she's still only 3 weeks old, and things could change!) my easiest baby yet, especially in the area of falling asleep by herself. With Clara Anne and Chloe, I remember quite a bit of crying in the early weeks as I would put them down for naps. I felt like every nap where they went to sleep on their own was a victory. But Christin hardly fusses at all--sometimes I lay her down and there isn't even a single peep of protest. Other times she cries a bit, but doesn't seem to have the perseverance in crying that Clara Anne and Chloe had. Thank the Lord! Her nighttime sleeping has also been very good--she is regularly going 4-5 hours straight and has had a couple of nights of 7 and 7.5 hour stretches. Last night she slept from 11pm until 6am this morning; a great help to me as well as good for her. We'll see if that continues consistently!