Thursday, January 8, 2009
I've been told many times that life with 3 kids is much busier than 2. I would always nod and wonder to myself, how busy is busy? Life had gotten a lot easier since Aidan and Jana were pottytrained, esp since they are both pretty independent and can play by themselves for a while, no problem. So, pre-Cara, I had imagined this busyness would mean all that came with taking care of a newborn (lack of sleep, lots of feedings and diaper changes) and the regular stuff that came with taking care of Aidan and Jana. But now that Cara is out of the womb, I've realized that it is truly busier than I imagined, day to day. Maybe it's the fact that all my kiddies are pretty close in age - Aidan is 4 y 5 mos, Jana is 2 y 7 mo and Cara is 2 mo?
The busiest part of my day is getting all the kiddies ready to give Aidan a ride to preschool MWF. It seems like no matter how early I get up, I always feel pretty rushed getting them into the car. It's either Cara having another poopie or Jana refusing to get into the car with help (so it takes soo long!) or Aidan needing to pick a book so that he can read during the 7 minutes it takes to me to drive him to school. But sometimes it's the milk moustaches that I forgot to wipe or the jackets that refuse to be zipped....you get the idea. Then it's praying that I get a spot in the school parking lot (there are only about 8 spaces for 20 students) so that I don't have to schlep all 3 kids to and fro in the bitter cold. Anyhow, I'm so blessed to have another mom that volunteered to pick Aidan up for me every school day. [Although I have to admit that sometimes I feel a bit guilty for not packing him up myself so I can be there to give him a hug and ask him how his morning went and schmooze with the other moms. :( But thank goodness Aidan doesn't seem to mind and thinks it's cool that he gets to ride with a good friend of his! :) ] But with Aidan at school and Cara in bed doing her long nap in the mornings, Jana has really enjoyed her alone time with me and it's been really fun. :)
:::Naps & stuff:::
Cara has been such a good baby in terms of napping and sleeping! She naps after every feeding, which gives me a chance to hang out with the other kiddies like we used to. Maybe that's why they love Cara so much - she's giving them a gradual transition to being a family of 5. :) She also normally wakes up once, at most, twice, at night, so I'm not as cranky in the mornings. Hehe. I was a bit worried about her lack of 'waking up' at night but she's been gaining weight well, so I'm going to enjoy my sleep. On her off days when she doesn't nap so well, I find myself getting super creative with how to juggle all three kiddies. So, I've been having to pull out the ol' 'box of goodies' more often than usual and relying more on the kiddies TV time. Still doing a cross between babywise and baby whisperer with Cara and it's been really helpful in helping her sleep well and eat well! I also found a new blog on babywise, which has been very resourceful for troubleshooting - here.
Cara's not really on any type of schedule, per se, so there are times when I feel like there's not enough of me to go around. So I find myself trying to multitask like crazy and trying to figure out the most efficient way to do things, like picking out our clothes the night before or putting some breakfast out the night before, etc.. But I also feel like I'm always rushing from one thing to the next and trying to think ahead that I'm not always really there in the moment. Do you guys ever feel that way? I'm still trying to carve out some 'me time' but it's getting harder and harder. The older kids spend about an hour to an hour and a half in their rooms everyday and that's when I have some downtime to read the Word or but do some emailing and such. I find myself really needing that or else I get a bit cranky. ;) But sometimes Cara will choose that time to wake up, which allows me some alone time with her (a good thing) but leaves me less 'me time' (not such a good thing). Still trying to figure all that out. I also find myself putting off chores when they are all asleep which leaves me more to do when they are awake or trying to get some house stuff done instead of napping. Oh, to find a good balance....sometimes I don't even know what I really want to do! Anyhow...
I've also been finding myself almost tied to the washer and dryer lately. I mean, I'm actually the type that loves doing laundry but even for me it's getting a bit old - sheesh! From having 2 kiddies already, I remember that having a newborn means more laundry but I forgot just how much more! :) The washer I have is a front-loader, which has been making the laundry problem worse. It's not cleaning my cloth diapers as well as when I had a top-loader, so I've been having to run more cycles and thus, be in the laundry room more...blah. Plus, even though it says super capacity, it really doesn't hold that much clothing. So on top of having more laundry in general, I'm having to run more loads of normal clothes and go back and forth between the laundry room and whatever it is I'm doing all day long. [Note to self: If I ever get to buy a washer, I'm getting a top-loader without an agitator.] Anyhow, I've almost started to question if I should even keep up with cloth diapers since I hafta do an extra load every other day but then when I look at the fact that I've only bought 1 pkg of newborn dipes and 1 pkg of size and didn't even use up either of those pkgs yet (and Cara's already 2 months old), I feel a bit better. But I love having the disposables around to give me a much needed break sometimes. :) And I've discovered some new detergents since having an HE machine - Nellie's Laundry Nuggets and Maggie's Soap Nuts, 2 great alternatives to your traditional detergents. Very environmentally friendly - hope to do a review sometime soon! :)
:::Out & About - Not!:::
It's sad but I have not yet braved going grocery shopping by myself and here's why. Before with two, I used to have Jana on the top section and Aidan in the bottom because he likes sorting out my food and putting them in piles for me. But now I'm running out of room for food with Cara in tow. I thought of wearing Cara in a baby carrier but because it's frigid out, I didn't want to take her out of the carseat to put her into the Bjorn/sling/Ergo in the cold....and there's no place for the carseat in the cart, anyhow. Still working on convincing the other 2 to walk by the cart & not run off. ;) Plus, Cara really dislikes being in the carseat for some reason so leaving her in the carseat is not really an option. Anyone have any ideas on how to remedy this? I've been looking for one of those stores that have babysitting but still not sure if I want to leave the other 2 just yet. Sigh. So for now I go by myself (which is a treat!) and rush home so Kev can get some relief. :) I am getting a bit of cabin fever with all this staying at home (but it's so much easier) but I hope to be getting out more once it warms up a bit!
Oh, an update on the 3 in a row in the back of the CR-V thing. [I have 2 Sunshine Kids Radian 65s and 1 Graco Snugride.] It's working great and having Aidan in the middle really helps. He gives us updates on Cara and doesn't poke her. Hehe. He's also good at giving her the pat-pat, to help calm her down sometimes. The 2 older ones don't seem to mind the 5-point harness and it is so much easier to buckle them in that way. Not quite sure what to do when Cara outgrows the infant carseat - will keep you all updated! :)
It has been really busy having 3 under 5 but really enjoyable at the same time. It's been refining me further as I relinqish more control and learn to trust God. I'm leaning on God more with the everyday stuff (ie. how to get things done better & faster, how to discipline the kids yet show them I love them, trying to figure out my goals with the kiddies, etc), which is very humbling. But I do praise God for this season and pray that I will learn the things God wants me to learn and also be able to raise Godly kiddies in the process. :D
I mean, I've always known the above to be true, but lately, my 'walkie-talkie' kids have really cracked me up! Here's a sampling:
Scene - Aidan is busying making pretend chocolates for all of us.
Aidan: Mommy, I finished making some chocolates for you!
Me: Aw, thanks, Aidan - what kind are they?
Aidan: They're the yummy kind with fiber - I know you like fiber!
Me: Er, you're so thoughtful!! :) Hehe!
[In my past professional life, I was a registered dietitian and I guess the kids have caught on to the fact that I like fiber - LOL!]
Aidan: I also made some for Cara to eat.
Me: Oh yeah?
Aidan: Yeah, and they are made with 'mu-nai'* because I know that's Cara's favorite.
Me: Wow, you thought of everything (stifling my giggles)!
[*Mu-nai is breastmilk in Chinese.]
Scene - Jana is in trouble again for breaking one of Aidan's creations and she is just about to be put into time out.
Me: Jana, you know you're not supposed to break Aidan's creations, even if he's not playing with them at the moment.
Jana: I know, but, oh, mama, I love your hair!!!
Me: So, now, you're going to be put into....huh? What did you say?
Jana: I love your hair, mama!
Me: Oh, thanks...erm, you still have to go to time out, though.
Seriously, where do they learn these things?! :)
Cara is obviously not talking yet but has been cooing and making the cutest noises! I love it when they get to that stage - it's so fun. :)