Monday, January 17, 2011

4+ Months Home...

Yes, I forgot I had a blog. My bad.
I could say it's because I have been crazy busy and overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of every day, and that would all be true. But it's mostly that my brain just hasn't had enough cells to work with for writing anything worth reading. That may still be true, but I'll give it a try anyway.

Our first few weeks were the hardest, but even at the hardest, it wasn't unbearable. Child #4 was almost fifteen months old when she joined our family, and she only weighed 16 pounds. She attached to me right away, and those first few weeks she didn't like to be set down. She had a fairly easy time adjusting to sleep schedules, and she took two naps a day for a month or two, like she had to catch up. Now she takes one nap in the afternoon. She was sleeping in our room at first, but we moved her to Child #3's bedroom a couple months ago. I think it has been better for both of them. Instead of competing for my attention, they can team up being mischevious. One of the harder parts for my husband was that she liked him holding her in the very beginning, but then within a week, she developed a major aversion for him. It was to the point that she wouldn't be in a room with him if I wasn't holding her. She liked him okay if it was morning and he was the only one awake to feed her. It felt like a really long time (really just a couple months) before she liked having him hold her. Now of course, she runs to greet him when he walks in the door and loves having him pick her up and make her giggle. Even our daily routine has gone way better than planned. The chaos level is not near what I was expecting. The hardest part has been dealing with her daily moods, some days she's cheerful and smiley, other days she is whiny and cranky. On the bad days she has to be held most of the day. She has had about six teeth come in since coming home, four of them molars. One of those is not quite out yet. I'm hoping that is what the bulk of her cranky days stems from. She is nineteen months old now and she weighs about twenty pounds. (Other kids are Child #1: 8 1/2 yob, Child #2: 6 yob, Child #3: 3 1/2 yog). Most of our days are chock full of food, noise, playing, learning, food, laundry, food, noise and sleeping, not nessacarily in that order. That is also where all my energy goes. I'm just thankful that I usually get a couple of hours at night to watch Hulu or read a book. I think I would be cross eyed and slightly unstable if I didn't have a little time at night to collect my wits. My good days are when everything on my list gets done AND my children all listened to me without debating or talking back AND my husband came home in a good mood AND I actually cooked a home made dinner before 6:30 pm AND I get a compliment. I might have that kind of day once a week, and it's what keeps me going. My average day has about two out of five of those elements. I also usually get about one or two BAD days a week, and I wash those days out my hair because they are far too demoralizing. And since I know you all love hearing about the bad days ;), they usually include at least three of these elements -

  • I have to strip and change Child #3's bed because that nighttime cup of water was one too many.
  • I spend the entire day looking for Child #2's favorite book (currently Wacky Wednesday) and listening to him ask me if I've found it yet "No, I'm still looking". (This specific scenario went on for three weeks daily to the point where I was debating between getting it off Ebay or Amazon. Then it appeared today, under Child #1's bed, where I'd already checked twice!)
  • Child #1 decides to assert his #1 status by questioning the legitimacy of school work, cleaning and getting out of pajamas. He may carry this on all day and into a second or third day, thereby losing electronic priveleges and being periodically banished to his room. All of which is my fault for making it "the WORST day ever". Oh, you know it!
  • I have to strip and change Child #4's bedding because she figured out to get out of her clothes again. That is the number one factor when deciding what she will wear, "Can she figure out how to take this off?" And it always has to been when she pooped because she just loves to spread that crap around. So we do spontaneous bathtimes for that too. Everyone in the house is on alert for it now. If someone hears Child #4 awake, they peak in and it is either, "MOMMY, She's only wearing A DIAPER." (level orange alert) or "MOMMY, SHE TOOK ALL HER CLOTHES OFF." (level red alert).
  • I spend an hour working on dinner only to find out that an integral ingredient in the recipe is missing or is unuseable. Thankfully, I have a lot of experience in adapting recipes. I get better at improv cooking every year.
  • My husband walks in the door, sees seven things on the floor and three dishes in the sink and some school books still on the table and wonders what I did all day. This means he is in a bad mood and he will spend the evening being dissatisfied and possibly vacumning and doing dishes. I love it when he cleans, but it's usually because he's cranky. Not a great trade off.
  • Somebody has a fever, stomach flu, or nasty cough, thereby cancelling all activities for the next few days, like cub scouts or Bible study, and turning us into groundhogs.

Since I'm fairly used to the elements of a bad day, it makes the good parts of those days shine all the brighter. Compliments are sweet nectar to my ears and obedience honey to my heart. If you can't tell, today was a bad day. Yesterday was too, which is unusual. But that puts the odds in my favor for a super day tomorrow! Thank you Lord for the gift of optimism, I couldn't be a stay at home mom without it. So let me know if you spot any typos or mistakes because I'm too tired to proofread this, plus if I don't get in the shower now, my next chance won't be for another 22 hours.


Shelley said...

Well said... Are you sure you didn't take a snippit of my day and Xerox it to include? With the exception of the poop part, we live mirroring lives in many ways!!

Carole said...

You are a great mom - I wish I could juggle kids and responsibilities AND save money like you do! (There's your compliment for the day - hope the rest of your day goes well!) :-)

Anonymous said...

Ah but what would you write about, thereby giving us a good laugh if you had good days every day? I love the orange and red alerts! Good to have children eyeballing for you. I miss the drama! Mom