Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Life with three

I started this blog when Ada was only a few months old.  I was freshly home from what had been a career that I loved.  Scott and I were still newlyweds really, and we were a bit shell shocked by the way a newborn had shifted our universe.  It felt so hard to have that one baby.  It was so hard to have that one baby.  I was lonely and a bit baffled by motherhood.  I missed work.  I missed getting dressed every morning while it was still dark outside and driving through the city to my exit.  I missed the "careerness"  of it, and I was struggling to figure out how to fill the hours.  I knew that I wanted to be at home, but I was struggling to find purpose in the constant feed, change the diaper, burp the baby, put the baby down for a nap.

And here we are, six years later.  Six and a half years later, and it is once again hard.  But hard in such a different way.  The constant feed, burp, diaper changing is now lost in the midst of homeschooling and parenting and budgeting for a family of five rather than that family of 3.  And I feel like I hardly see Scott as we are in the trenches of parenting young children and much of life feels like tag teaming rather than running side-by-side.  I feel like my voice constantly sounds frantic.  Is that Evie crying?!  Can you grab her while I finish dinner?!  Are Ada and John fighting again?!!  where did I put the math work book?  It's lost in the gigantic pile of papers that we call the school room.  and on and on and on the frantic goes, and it's hard to stop and nurse Evie without it feeling like an inconvenience, much less find the time to talk to Scott or actually think through parenting decisions rather than just reacting to the situation at hand.

 I write all this not to say that this is good or how it should be.  Instead, I write it to say that this is the adjusting that is now taking place.  Adjusting to Ada meant figuring out what to do with what felt like too much time.  way too much time.  Silence and a quiet apartment and how do we fill our days?  And now adjusting feels like, how do we dial down the frantic?  How do we stop running around and reacting to situations and switch to purposeful parenting of three?  I know that life can still be purposeful, and I know that much of that will happen naturally as we move out of these early survival weeks into more normal, predictable weeks.  I know that I will wake up one day, and we will have adjusted.  Which is another thing that honestly makes this adjustment easier.  With Ada, I didn't know that we would certainly adjust; it just took time.  This time, I know the adjustment will come.  Scott and I say that a lot.  Think about what life will look like six months from now!  a year from now!  Not to wish away the time, but to remind ourselves to breath and not panic because this isn't the new normal.  It's not.  Of course life will be fuller, busier, and yes, more frantic, with three children instead of two, but it won't always be this frantic.  Evie will get older.  Things will settle down.  We will figure this thing out.  (With much prayer, of course!!!)

But, but, the melancholy in me feels a bit of grieving over that quiet apartment, that one baby, and the excitement we would feel when Scott got home from work (at about 5:00 versus 7:00 or sometimes 8:00).  It was simpler.  And we were so young.  Or it feels like we were so much younger.  Because, though it felt like it wouldn't happen, we did adjust, and I had all of this time to enjoy baby Ada.  Long walks and looking at her and talking to her, and even naps with her.  But though there are less of them, I still have those moments with Evie.  In the wee hours of the morning when she needs to eat and the rest of the house is sleeping.  Or late in the evening when Ada and John are finally asleep and Scott and I can finally sit down and breathe.  Those are the moments that I take the time to look at Evie, drink in the smell of her, the sounds.  Feel the weight of her in my arms--all curled up in that newborn way with her diapered bottom sticking out. 

So here we are.  So different from the first time we became parents, but also so much the same.  We are figuring this thing out.  I am praying.  A LOT.  And we are confident that we will survive this and our family will come out on top. 

I always have more that I want to blog.  Ada's ballet recital, Christmas, I started weight watchers (because that has been different too!!!  It was much easier to lose this baby weight six years ago!!), and just the general information about what Evie is like.  So maybe I will get to that.  We'll see...

Monday, December 9, 2013


I want to blog about these early days.  These adjusting days.  These, welcome to our family, Evie, days.  But, there is a long list of things that need to be done each day, and I am somewhat baffled by how to get those things done, so the blog falls waaaay to the bottom of the list.

In one breath I could say that things are going surprisingly well, and I could also say that having three children is kicking my tail.  It just depends on the exact minute in the day which one I would claim.

Right now, Ada and John are watching a cartoon, which is fine because they have played all afternoon in their bedroom.  And Evie is snoozing in her room.  And Scott is even here working from home this week.  Dinner is in the crockpot.  We actually got phonics and math done today.  I even cleaned the bathroom (it was high time), and the laundry is caught up.  Well, there are a few piles that need to be put away, but it's in good shape for the most part.

But earlier?  Earlier, Evie was screaming, and I had already fed her, so I didn't even really know what she needed.  Ada and John both needed lunch, and we had not even begun to think about starting the school day even though it was noon.  The shower had been sprayed with cleaner, and then sat there soaking in the cleaner for over an hour because I couldn't get back to it.  The laundry was piled on the dining room table, and at one point I had tears rolling down my face as I stirred the oh-so-healthy lunch of boxed mac and cheese.  In that moment, I couldn't figure out how to even find the time to breathe with three kids much less do anything else on my list. 

In other words, it's just one step at a time.  And we are making it.  Sort of.

Let me do a quick summary of the past three weeks.  She's three weeks today!!

The day I got home from the hospital, I started getting sick.  I ended up with a bad case of bronchitis?  something in my lungs/deep cough/sore throat/completely lost my voice/ basically did not feel well, and that was completely separate from the recovering from the C-section, dealing with normal post-partum healing. 

My mom was here through Thanksgiving, and then because I was sick and Scott was working long hours at work, I went back to Alabama with her to get one more week done before I had to be on my own with all three.  During those weeks with my mom, Evie was basically unhappy unless nursing.  When I say she was nursing all the time, she was nursing ALL THE TIME.  If she was awake, she was nursing.  I was her pacifier, basically.  So, this past Friday at her two week doctor's appointment (she was older than two weeks), I said, "what do I do?!!!"  And he encouraged me to keep trying the pacie, let her "cry-it-out" for just about 3 minutes at a time, and try to stretch her feedings to every two hours.  And we have done it!!!  I am sure some of it is that she is now three weeks old, and the pacifier is easier for her, but we have managed to get her on a sort of schedule, and I am so relieved.  There was no way I could nurse her that much without my mom here, so I am so thankful that the nursing issue is resolved. 

Now that she will take a pacifier and is on a much more normal eating schedule, I might say that Evie is my easiest baby of all three of my children.  Once we got her eating schedule worked out, she immediately began sleeping longer stretches at night--five hours the past two nights!!!  She still fights sleep during the day, and usually doesn't settle into a good, long nap until the afternoon, but she really is an easy, predictable baby to be only three weeks old.  And, I should add that today she has nursed every hour and half, but I am okay with that compared to the every ten or fifteen minutes we were doing.  I'm not kidding.

Ada and John are adjusting so well.  I mean, there have been the normal behavior issues that come with life being disrupted, but I really thought John was going to have a strong reaction to Evie entering the family.  He's barely even noticed.  In fact, towards the end of the pregnancy, he became so clingy, and now that Evie is here, he is back to his normal self!!  Praise the Lord.

So, all in all, I would say that things are going as well as can be expected.  Or maybe even surprisingly well.  My emotions seem to be "in check" for the most part.  I don't feel too terribly exhausted thanks to the past two nights.  And life is continuing on, though at a slower pace than normal. 

I have lots of pictures, of course, but it was nearly impossible to get these words typed.  I don't think I can take the time right now to download pictures.  That will have to happen on another day.

Bottom line, we are so thankful for Evie, and I keep trusting that over time, we will figure this thing out.  God is gracious to meet me in my needs for this day!!