She. Is. Awesome. Sweet and patient. A great eater. An amazing sleeper. And loved by all. Matt and I couldn't be happier with our 2 boys and 2 girls. And for the most part, the transition to life with 4 kids has been pretty seamless. I had my par-for-the-course-3-weeks-postpartum emotional breakdown last week. And there have been a few epic temper tantrums - and not just by the kids. But all in all we're plugging along just fine. Really, if I had to give a run down of how life changes with 4 kids it would go something like this:
Last summer I took 3 kids on bike rides to the liquor store on the corner for cold, refreshing Popsicles. This summer I load 4 kids in the car, drive to the liquor store on the corner, park, and run in for cold, refreshing bottles of white wine.
This time a year ago we were eating well. Really well because I do love to cook. My kids are currently surviving on yogurt, cereal, string cheese, apples and popsicles. And also on the kindness of our amazing community who continue to bring us meals!
When Claire (2 years old) was still the baby of the family she came when I called and left her clothes on. Now she poops in her diaper, removes it and feeds it to the dog. She empties tubes of toothpaste and decorates her clothes, her body and the bathroom with the contents. She climbs in and out of her highchair on her own and feeds herself when she's hungry. She has learned how to buckle her own car seat. BONUS! Not a bonus however when she sneaks into the garage, climbs into a random car seat that is parked on the garage floor, buckles herself in and can't get out. And I don't know she's there ... for awhile.
Since Emily was born I haven't actually sat down to eat my breakfast or lunch. In fact, in the last 4 weeks I haven't sat down much at all between the hours of 5:30am to 9:00pm. Unless of course I'm nursing Emily. Oh wait. I even accomplish that task while walking around the kitchen or switching laundry.
When we had our first baby I thought parenthood was hard. VERY hard. When we added our second born the busy dial went up a notch. When the third arrived we were suddenly outnumbered. But Matt and I became a team long before her arrival, and we found it easy to switch from a one-on-one defense to a zone defense. And now with our most recent arrival we've hardly batted an eye. We are without a doubt more sleep deprived and overworked than we were when we began this parenting journey. And yet somehow we willingly set aside our needs to first meet the needs of that precious new life and our three other equally precious (most of the time) children. Before Emily joined our family my heart was full. Now, it's overflowing. These kids have given my life more joy and meaning than I ever knew possible. And, as my hairdresser informed me just yesterday, they've also given me more grey hair.