Monday, November 21, 2011

We survived!

Photo courtesy of Colin

For the past two days, our sweet Amelie, who helps me care for the boys each day from 8:30-1:30 (and often later if I ask!) has been out sick. So Thursday and Friday it was me and my boys alone together all day.

Here's the obvious statement of the week: Raising these four boys is WAY easier with help.

I've gotten quite used to Amelie's smiling face at the door each morning, always looking refreshed, rested and ready to jump into the chaos of our lives for the next five hours. She's calm, fun and can handle anything that comes her way. We are so blessed by her and with her by our side, our mornings run pretty darn smoothly.

So Wednesday night when she called to say that she was really sick, I felt trepidation for what the next days would bring. It'd been a while since I'd had all four boys alone all day.... could I handle it without loosing my mind? The other piece that worried me was simply that the babies aren't sleeping well and therefore I'm not getting a whole lot of sleep lately, and I find when I don't get sleep, parenting feels soooo much more overwhelming.

But we made it and in the process made some memories too.

As it's been said, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".

Some highlights and low points:

  • Colin pushing Finn after Finn tried to grab his toy, and who fell into Carter- low point

  • Coming back into the room after taking Everett and Carter up for nap to find Colin on the floor, on his belly, at eye level with Finn whispering sweet brotherly things and making Finn laugh so hard- high point

  • Story time, take one, initiated by me who thought, "Won't this be nice, we'll pick out books and I'll read to the boys and they'll all sit and listen and learn lots". Colossal failure! Everybody was grabbing books from each other, and the boys quickly ended up in tears. - need I spell it out: this was a low point

  • Impromptu story time, which happened when Colin noticed Carter looking at a Winnie the pooh book? High point! Colin started to lovingly "read" to Carter and the other boys were also drawn into the experience. Sure it only lasted for a few brief minutes, but it was something.

  • The moments when I felt like a complete failure because it seemed no matter what, I couldn't keep up with meeting everybody's needs- low point.

  • The moments when I felt like a mom warrior cranking through the day, determined to stay patient and loving and moving forward despite the limitations of one person- high point. 

  • Everett getting into everything everywhere- lowish point

  • Finding an enormous baby gate in the garage and realizing I could carry it in the house myself, and that it would fit perfectly in the basement- high point! Score! Everett is now contained!

  • The times when all the babies were hungry and crying (or screaming) and Colin was frustrated- low point.... those times usually only last a few minutes but when they come on, they feel like an eternity

  • Catching a moment of sweet silence, cuddled up on the couch with Colin in my arms while the babies slept, watching the Lion King.... HIGH POINT. There's nothing like snuggling with your kids to remind you of how worth the effort it all is.

Around 4 p.m. Friday, Chris texted me and asked, "How are things going??"

So I texted him back: "Super! The babies are quietly and independently coloring and Colin is organizing his toy room. I have a pot roast in the oven for dinner."

Typical man, he replies: "Wow, really? That's great! See you soon!"

My response: "No, not really. Really, I'm standing in the middle of baby chaos, in my pjs, my hair is a rats nest and the house is a pit. I have no idea what we'll do about dinner."


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