August 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
In my last post I mentioned that I still LOVED being a parent to four little ones, even though it gets wild around here. I have been pondering that……. When my 15 month old turns to me and wraps his little arms around my legs for a hug. When my 4 year old prays for my headache. When my 2 year old shouts “mommy I didn’t get a hug and kiss!” as I’m closing the door to their room after our bed time routine (bed time shenanigans). When our baby daughter flashes her amazing toothless smile. I couldn’t imagine knowing that we wouldn’t have more kids.
Things get crazy around here, for sure.
We had friends over for dinner and I had to get up more than once to give attention to unruly behavior and even had to slip away from the table to give someone a quick scrub down in the tub because he was so dirty from playing outdoors and dinner. It was certainly inconvenient as I would have much rather sat and been a part of the adult conversation.
We’ve got one going through an angry, scream-y phase. I just started reading Give Them Grace because I know that I don’t always give them enough patience and grace and I want to be pouring Jesus’ love into their hearts and showing them the appropriate way to act by example, not making their little matters harder.
I am constantly pulling Leonardo down off of the table, desks, baby swing, changing table, easel… if it can be climbed he will climb it. He spends a lot of time in the pack n’ play for his own safety but I can’t just keep him in there ALL day. Darn it all it’s exasperating. Up the stairs to tend to the crying infant.. rush back down to rescue Leo from a perch too high… up the stairs again to find a missing shoe… rush back down because an older brother is alerting me to the fact that Leonardo is sucking on the computer wire… outside to look in the van for that missing shoe… back in to the sounds of crying after Leonardo has climbed onto and fallen off of the dining table. By 8am we’ve all been up for and hour and a half and I’m counting down the minutes until little man’s first nap!
Having all these little kids means a lot of up and down and repetition and plain ole’ 24 hours a day commitment. There are many times when I just want a little reprieve, but I never think about being DONE. They all bring me so much more joy then grief. And let’s face it – they’re making me a better person…. well…. My God is making me a better person through their different personalities and everything I’ve mentioned (and way more). He’s sharpening me and leading me and is always that still small voice. It often takes some time but I am slowly adjusting my course to line up with His.
People ask “how do you DO IT??” That’s how. With each addition God fine tunes me just a little bit more. We adjust. We change. We grow. I’ve told my boys that when mommy and daddy have a new baby I still love them just the same as before, but my heart grows bigger so that I have room for the new baby. Same goes for every other aspect of parenting and I look forward to welcoming more blessings into our family in the future.
I’ve got my list of Italian baby names ready and waiting.
August 15, 2014 § Leave a comment
So we have 4 kids! Alessia Truth joined our crew on July 1st and everyone is so happy to have a little lady in the house!
The first (almost 7) weeks with our new baby daughter has been so much fun (girl clothes heeeeeeyyyyy!) and also pretty tiring. I was reeaaally hoping that she would fall right into a regular sleeping pattern after the first couple of weeks of pushing full feedings (happy tummy) every time and while she has done well with breastfeeding on a schedule her day time sleeping has not been super easy and it has been a source of stress for me. I can’t sit and hold a baby all day long and it is so tiring running up and down the stairs to check on my ticking time bomb or to pop her binky back in her mouth. I hate the binky… but it’s so easy to just pop it in and hope it lulls baby back to sleepy land. I’m hoping that I can phase it out or direct baby girl to her thumb. Because thumb suckers can’t lose their source of comfort (yes, it is also troublesome BECAUSE they can’t lose it when their older, I know)…………….
I’m all about the napping schedule. Routine is the only way to get anything done around here. I don’t have it all figured out and I certainly have NOT mastered the Sleep Monster – my kids argue at bed time and wake up too early and all of that but we still have a semblance of a routine and it is so vital to my LIFE. Yes. Dramatic emphasis encouraged when reading that. *Vital to MY LIFE*. So adding a baby to the mix who clearly misread her day to day schedule is very draining for me. Just add it to the list of things “we’re working on”.
Anyways…. the two big boys love helping me care for her. Every single time I sit down to nurse her Stefano sits next to me and announces that he is going to tickle her toes. Dante so tenderly holds her and tries to soothe her when she cries. Even Leonardo knows that she is a special new family member and hugs and kisses her often… and by hug and mean he tries to throw all of his body weight on top of her face and squeeze nice and tight. And by kiss I mean open-mouth drooly slobbers while making clicking noises repeatedly haha. No, it’s adorable.
One of the most difficult things is going grocery shopping with all four of them. Twice, now, I’ve done it and been the mom who has got a baby cart and a food cart. Every other time I’ve managed to unload at least two of them. But I’ve still got a few years before Dante can help me push a grocery cart. Those things are NOT made to steer with one hand. And then to make matters even trickier, add two preschoolers – one holding onto one side of the cart, and the second on the other side of the cart — if we weren’t bumping into end caps and people already, we are now. We need a Wide Load sign. Before every grocery shopping trip I remind my boys to wait for me to ask them to pick up food to place in the cart, and to hold onto the cart so that we can all stay together. So when I mix things up and suggest someone LET GO of the cart to make room for another shopper to get by….. forget about it. I might as well be speaking Polish. Why on EARTH would I EVER change the rules? Haha! Normally our shopping trips are fairly quick and painless and I like to be able to praise them for being my helpers and for being so well behaved. But wider aisles would be helpful. Maybe I’ll write a letter………….. Can you imagine? “Dear Market Basket, I thought it might make our shopping trip more enjoyable if you could reconfigure your store layout so that it might be easier for my four children and me to walk hand in hand (or hand in cart) through the aisles. Thanks for you consideration”. Pffff.
I’ve found after baby number four I really just don’t want to cook. Ever. I’m just being real with you. Oh, I HAVE. I even tried a new recipe last night. But I am not getting any joy out of cooking for my family. I’m still having a tough time getting back to eating my greens and laying off of the carbs. Bleh. It makes my heart sad…. but my whole body literally cries out for muffins. So I have a sweet tooth, zero self-control, and am paying for it with a lack of energy. At the end of the day the last thing I want to do is stand in front of the stove. The summer sun, diet, running up and down the stairs to a baby who hates naps, and oh yea, having four little kids leaves me about a half hour of consciousness after they all go to bed at 8 before I legit pass out on the couch mid-Shark-Week-special…. the kind of couch-sleep that isn’t easy to pull someone out of. My husband tries to wake me to go to bed and apparently I am completely unresponsive. I’m bummed! Shark Week only comes around once a year and there have been some GOOD ones that I’ve missed due to chronic tired-mom comas. The term “super shark” alone would give me nightmares if I slept long enough to dream……………………..
Haha! Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE it all. I really do. Some of the time I feel cra-zy but I still love it. Even when our two year old is copying his big brother’s flare for the dramatic and telling me that he doesn’t like me or declaring that “nobody is comin’ in this house” (he thinks that is the ultimate come back???)… then I take a step back and recognize how much Dante has grown and changed and I get a second wind and remember that time and consistency DOES make a difference and that we can totally DO THIS. And I LOVE it.
I love sleep too. And coffee. Oh and driving in the car quietly.
One for Three.