Thursday, October 04, 2007

Flying Solo

This is what I see from the porch of our house. That is, if I don't look the other way at the busy street in front of our house. Anyway, a little over a week ago, I noticed a plant growing up the fence across the alley behind our house. It was just starting to change it's summer foliage for fall colors, and I thought it would make a pretty picture when the colors had turned. So, I waited... and waited.. and watched.. and waited and finally I was happy enough with how it looked, to take pictures.

But then, it got windy and it rained for days and days, and when it wasn't raining, the lighting wasn't right, but I took pictures anyway, and just kept trying again when I could. Today the pictures seemed better, so now the wind can blow all the leaves off and I won't complain.

Anyway, I wasn't planning on writing about a plant growing on the fence across the alley behind our house. So, before I move on to my main topic, here are a couple closer shots of some of our fall colors.

I always wondered how three kids could be that much harder than just two. I mean, a new baby doesn't do anything but eat and sleep right? Right, but it has it's own schedule that usually clash with all previously existing schedules. Apparently the only one really affected by these schedule clashes is Mom- or whoever it is that organized most of the schedules.

Last week Grandma C. came over each morning either before I was even up, or just a few minutes after I'd crawled out of bed. She would tidy the kitchen until the kids woke up, or if they were already awake, she'd start by getting them dressed for the day. Then she'd fix breakfast. This gave me time to get Sir's lunch packed and not have hungry whiny kids underfoot. After Sir would leave for work, and breakfast was over, we'd start on a project for the day. Most of the week was spent digging out the baby clothes from the storage shed outside and sorting through them. It would have been a monstrous project for me do do by myself. Especially with both of the older kids clamoring for attention and the frequent stops I had to make in order to attend to Emma.

(Continued 3 days later....)
As I was saying... The first week of Emma's life at home went nice and smoothly. Grandma C. was here to be an extra pair of hands and eyes and as time passed, the initial excitement of the 'new baby' wore off a little and the older children stopped hovering over Emma ready to touch her the minute an opportunity presented itself. Then Grandma C. had to resume her own life, and I got to find out what 3 kids is all about. Ok, I'm sure I have no idea what 3 kids is all about yet... but I'm learning fast.

This week has been a roller coaster when it comes to good or bad days. Most of it is related to how much sleep I get in a 24 hour period. In general, Emma has been sleeping well enough at night. Most of the time she's only up twice to feed, but then you have to toss in diaper changes and burping sessions that can take a lot longer than one would consider 'ideal'. Overall, on a good night I'll lose about 2½ - 3 hours of sleep.

But then there are the bad nights. The nights where Dolly has a nightmare and needs to be cuddled for 15-20 minutes. And the nights that I forgot to give the kids cold medicine before bed (they've had colds basically since Emma was born)and PC wakes up crying because he's so congested. Then I have to pull out the nasal spray and the bulb syringe - not a sick baby's favorite things to see when they don't feel good. That can take a good half hour at best. Or the nights that somebody loses a pacifier and can't find it in the dark within two seconds thus leading to a frantic panic attack. The worst nights are when all of those things happen during the same night and overall, I get about 2½ - 3 hours of sleep.

A normal night is generally from 11pm to 7:30am for me, unless I'm really foolish and stay up late reading a book or writing blog posts or finally getting to the kitchen cleanup in peace and quiet or the kids are generous and let me sleep until 8am. And there's always nap time. Well, that's one thing I've learned about 3 kids. There isn't always naptime. We've started putting the older children in the same room for their afternoon nap. I used to separate them so they wouldn't disturb each other, but sooner or later they'll need to take naps in the same room since Emma will be occupying the nursery. On a good day Dolly and PC go right to sleep at about the same time, and if one of them wakes up before the other I can get the awake one out of the room without waking up the sleeping one thus giving me at least a bit of a nap myself. But there haven't been very many good days when it comes to nap time so far. I've spent more of my precious naptime minutes either nursing Emma back to sleep, or dragging myself out of bed just seconds after falling asleep to attend to one or both of the older children.

So, when you combine a bad night with a bad day - sleep-wise, you get a very grumpy and overwhelmed Mommy. This is when I'm so thankful for Sir. There's something to being understood when you can't even understand yourself that really restores sanity. And when somebody will listen to you wail out all your frustrations and only offer sympathy and help when most of what you're saying doesn't even make the remotest sense, it really gives the sense of a safe haven and a place to belong.

Anyway, this post is getting long and ramble-ish and it's taken me 3 days just to get this far on it, so I probably should get it posted soon since it's lunch time and PC is about to get up from his nap. Hopefully I'll be able to post more often as things start to settle down. After all, even if it does seem like we take a step backwards for every two forwards, we're still making progress on our way to a normal routine! And for all those who have been so patiently waiting for more pictures of Emma, here's some from her 9-day old photo shoot.


  1. Oh what a cutie. She is really changing quickly. Sorry about the kids colds and whatnot. I'm Praying for you guys!

  2. Oh man, that sounds rough! I'm sorry the kids have colds. It's so hard when you're not getting enough sleep. I guess I'll be finding out what it's like to have 3 in about 6 months! I don't do good at all without enough sleep.

  3. Wished you could have napped yesterday instead of gone grocery shopping! But I know how it is. Don't allow yourself to crack, that's how most of my problems started! It's MUCH better to call someone and cry on their shoulder or ask for a break than to fall apart on your kids and husband! The most important thing I learned with having 3 is to relax and tell yourself you'll do ---- (fill in the blank) after the children are older/NEXT year. Schedules, etc will happen eventually! And they do. ;-)

  4. I've heard about it, what Lily says... Child one; read all the books on child rearing. Child two; read all the books about siblings, strong wills, personal zones, time-outs, Super-Moms. Child three; throw out the books. Survive. You're a good mommy,'ve had lots of practice.

  5. You and Sir have a beautiful new daughter who certainly does not look only nine days old...rather at least three months or more. My brother was three when my sister was born. Mother told him she was too heavy for him to hold. One afternoon Mother stood at the front sidewalk and proceeded to compare "notes" with a neighbor whose son was just two weeks older. Our sister was sleeping in the carriage under the apricot tree until my brother walked down the driveway holding the baby in the middle. "She's not too hebby for me." How he managed to get her out of the carriage is a mystery.

  6. I love the paragraph about "being understood when you can't even understand yourself" - I'm very proud of my brother for being such a good husband/father! :) :) Emma is such a cutie, can't wait to hold her tonight!!! Hope everything works out for you guys to come across... Looking forward to a fun weekend!

  7. What a cutie pie she is! And your grandma is right - she doesn't look as young as she is at all. She's so aware of what's going on!

  8. Hey! Her eyes are open! What a beautiful baby! Hang in there. It doesn't necessarily get easier but you will soon get a routine that's workable. As they say, "don't sweat the small stuff". And sleep when they sleep. I use to sleep on the couch when the kids would play in the family room. That way I was half aware of what they were doing. They weren't allowed out of the room. Works well when you're sick, too.