Family of Five

 

SAMSUNG CSCMaybe not the best weather for a family picture. Bright, windy and chilly. I think any picture with all five of us is a good thing though. I’m going to try and have a lot more of these than we’ve done in the past (aka, never). I don’t need them posed, perfect or polished. Just there. Recording the stages of our family even if someone is crying, has closed eyes or won’t sit still.

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I just had my mom snap these while we were over there for a family gathering. It looked beautiful outside but it was quite deceiving. Next time we’ll be more prepared!

 

MY Daughter

Avery looks a lot like Shane. Sure, he has my eyes but when you watch Shane and Avery together you think ‘Okay, that kid belongs to him.’ They make the same expressions.

Eli looks like my family but not really like me much at all.

And then there’s Ida.

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She looks like me as a baby. I don’t see my features in her face at all but when I look at my baby pictures there is definitely a resemblance.

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Granted, I was born in the eighties and the photo quality just wasn’t the same..not to mention I took a picture of a picture that was already blurry. hehe

 

 

 

 

I wonder how much she’ll change as she grows. I know she won’t look just like me but it’ll be nice to have a family member resemble me. I was always called adopted in my family because all my siblings look pretty different and I don’t look much like either of my parents either. I don’t look grossly different, I just lack certain features that are apparent in some of my family members.

 

 

 

Where Does All the Time Go?

Three kids has brought about a small dilemma when it comes to time management. I’m fairly certain it’s because of feeding an infant but there are a few things I have YET to catch up on since giving birth.

1. Bathing. Haha, no, I’m not talking about my kids…yup, you guessed it. Finding that special moment when the two younger children are sleeping during the day is really really hard. I can’t shower when Eli is awake because he’s a sneaky trouble maker when left to his own devices (especially with an infant around), and Ida is obviously a newborn so she’s gotta be sleeping too.  I manage a small amount of personal care after Shane gets home.

2. Dishes. WHAT THE HECK!?!?! How can I not get all these dishes taken care of?  Every time I get through most of them it turns out I have to feed my children. So yeah, more dishes happen.

3. Eating. Again, not trouble feeding my children, they eat quite well. I’ve started eating exactly what my boys eat every day for breakfast (I make oatmeal with an egg whisked in) but their lunches are less veggie heavy than I need and I have found that it is incredibly difficult to prepare food for myself or start dinner before Shane gets home…with extra hands.

Obviously this is a very short season since Ida will grow up so much faster than I’m prepared for but right now I nurse a lot, change lots of diapers, chase boys around, make food, clean up food, clean up house in a very tight cyclone of activity every day. This doesn’t include any outings or appointments we might have. Needless to say, three kids has made me far more busy than having two.

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Even though my hours seem to skim past me in a blink of an eye and the days skibble past as fast as can be, I find my new life quite fun. The boys play well together and now that the weather is chilling out they’re having to find things to do indoors in the mornings until it’s warm enough to go outside. Like building forts!

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All those fleeting moments nursing.

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There are also all those disasters that happen pretty much endlessly when you have a couple energetic boys.

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They get pretty exhausted.

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Every day is speckled with sweet moments.

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Avery brought all these gorgeous fall goods from the garden and that they were for princesses. Me and Ida. Then he explained how I’m not a princess anymore because he wants me to be ‘just’ his mommy.

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Then there’s Eli sleep eating. I laughed for quite a few minutes while filming him.

 

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These guys.

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I have it pretty good. Despite struggling to shower, eat and get the darned dishes washed, I am really loving this stage and I’m hoping it doesn’t start going any faster! I added all these photos because I know that in a few years I’ll be looking back here crying tears of nostalgia over them…but in a good way, I think?

Recovery Eats

Eating is hard during pregnancy. There are aversions, heartburn, nausea and a stomach that is squished into oblivion.

However, the MOMENT the baby is outta that belly I am a different person completely.  I suddenly love coffee again, the smell of meat doesn’t nauseate me and I pretty much NEED chocolate every day.

We were incredibly blessed to have meals provided for us for three weeks after Ida was born. I’m still reeling from the amazingness of that and what a huge help it was. I made our breakfasts and lunches but a lot of the lunches were leftovers from the dinners so that was easy.

Our last meal provided came on Monday and now I’m on my own!

Part of recovery eating is NOT cooking and the other part is what you actually eat. We did make a few meals throughout the first weeks though and alongside the wonderful (and generally very nutritious) dinners, I felt pretty amazing despite just having had a baby.

A few days after Ida was born we had this fantastically beautiful day and Shane decided it’d be a sin not to grill.

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I made home fries and a salad to pair with his perfectly grilled pork chop. We used a steak rub on them and it turned out really delicious.

The weather has held up pretty well and it wasn’t but a few days later we were grilling again! This time steak. I made some sweet potatoes (from my parent’s garden, obviously), and a salad out of my garden (cilantro, parsley, kale, radishes, tomatoes and lettuce) and we called it a meal.

SAMSUNG CSCShane is an expert steak griller. I mean like, the best. It was phenomenal.

Pretty early on I started eating super veggie heavy lunches since I’m pretty sure that’s the best way to recover along with taking probiotics.

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I’m a carrotaholic. It’s a disease. I generally eat two to five pounds of carrots a week or so.  The majority of that is for lunch. This lunch was a big bowl of leftover sweet potatoes, avocado, cauliflower, and carrots. Then I heavily doused it with hot sauce.

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I know that right now I need lots of protein so adding to super large spinach salads every day is important. Beans, quinoa, cheese (unnecessary but so tasty) and carrots…for texture. Then I doused it heavily with hot sauce.

Of course most of my lunches were leftovers of the meals people have been bringing us.

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Chicken fettuccine, steamed broccoli and salad.

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chicken and white bean soup (really really yummy) with some grapes!

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This quinoa, black bean and butternut soup was so incredibly delicious! It was really nostalgic for some reason. Probably the bean and tomato part of it. We were given a crock pot full of this and I ate it like it was my JOB.

So my recovery plan is basically, lots of veggies, eat breakfast and try to keep my chocolate cravings under control.

 

Three Kids….

For a while now I have thought that having a third kid puts you onto that edge. The line between a small family and a big family. It’s dipping your toe into those dangerous waters of being completely consumed by kids. You’re too far gone to have it ‘easy’, like with those families with one or two kids but you’re not completely over the edge with four and up.

Happy middle ground? Maybe. I’ve only had three kids for three weeks now so I can’t say. I’ve also never had more than three kids.

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However, for anyone on the fence about having a third kid, let me give you some food for thought….and this is coming from a gal who was firmly set on having only two kids and no more but is blessed to have a precious angel surprise for a third despite all the fears and worries.

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My boys are young. Avery just turned four years old and Eli is two. They’re twenty months apart in age and are thick as thieves despite their completely different personality types. Going from one child to two children was extremely difficult for me. Halfway because Eli was a high needs baby but also because I couldn’t have anticipated taking care of an infant and essentially, a baby at the same time. It was a big adjustment. Going from zero to one had been easy, so don’t ask me why two was so much harder, but it just was.

So moving from two to three, especially in four years seemed like it would be scary. Honestly, I was just scared of getting another high needs baby but I had to keep that possibility in mind just in case. I was also terrified that my high needs kid would freak out like he does when I watch other kids.

Fortunately, Ida arrived in the form of a perfectly normal baby and Eli fell in love when he first poked her and said ‘baby!’.

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These were huge reliefs to me. Once I moved past those two expectations I took stock of what sort of feel a family with three kids would be like. Guess what? It’s waaaay easier than when I introduced a second kid. Why? It’s simple, really.

  • The older two keep eachother entertained a lot of the day. Instead of me trying to keep a less than two year old busy AND dealing with an infant (especially one like Eli), I have two kids who enjoy eachother’s company AND help me all the time.

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  • We’re pros. Shane and I know the drill. We know how to work together as parents. We tag team crisis situations, we have an established routine, we are practiced. I do diapers. He does bedtime. I do crying baby. He does tantrum toddler. It’s nice. We don’t have to stress out about all the processes. I know he can handle all the stuff and give me shower time and he trusts me to handle the stuff while he works.

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  • I’M a pro. I’ve gone through childbirth, breastfeeding, diaper changing, sick babies, baths, feeding, and so much more. I have a lot better idea of how to care for a baby without freaking out over a rash, a stuffy nose or a poor latch.

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  • I understand the sacrifice. When I had only Avery I used to exercise while he napped. It was nice but when a second came along it was kind of hard for me to deal with the fact that I couldn’t squeeze any ‘me’ time in during the day. Now with the third I know better than to have expectations and I enjoy any moment alone (yes, I count hanging out with a sleep baby ‘alone’ time) to the fullest. I also got a gym membership with childcare….

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  • I am familiar with carseats. Not just the safety aspect but all the crazy contraptions that are so hard to adjust to with your first kid. Now we have three carseats in the back of my standard sized car and if you can’t deal with that, well, life is a whole lot harder.

This list comes out of just a brief three weeks with three kids so I can’t say I’m an expert at all. But I think it’s a legitimate review of going from two kids to three since we’re not really transitioning anymore at this point. This is my new normal already and I’m comfortable with it. I’ve done play group a couple times, even grocery shopped with all three and have tried showering regularly so I think it’s safe to say I have a handle on the actual transition. My days go by in a flash of making food, cleaning up food, changing diapers and outfits and forgetting to eat or shower myself. I try to keep my house presentable and the laundry mostly caught up. I’m drinking up all the independence that a completely dependent infant gives before she’s running around and getting into trouble alongside her brothers.  All in all, it’s good times. Of course it’s ALL kid oriented and I have absolutely no time to pursue anything else but I’m sure after her first six months of constantly nursing are over I’ll figure something out.

So for those of you with zero, one or two kids, this is the low down. It’s amazing, rewarding and fun despite all the work.

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