Four weeks. Wow. Four weeks with four kids. WOWWWW!
I know there are so many things about these days that I simply will not remember. I am tired and sleep-deprived and super busy and recovering from pregnancy. My brain just cannot keep up with all that's happening in our sweet little life. But there are so many sweet things, so many precious moments that have and are occurring. There are also really hard days, tough moments. Moments when my patience is thin, the kids are unruly, and the volume is way too loud. But, I wouldn't change a thing, I wouldn't miss a moment, and I wouldn't fast forward through these days to a time when we are all well-rested and recovered.
Jonathan is hard-working, committed, strong, and steadfast. We wakes early, helps me out in the little things like throwing together peanut butter sandwiches or leaving me a hot mug of coffee ready to go. He runs his business and cares for his patients, then comes homes to care for his children and tired wife. Some nights he takes the kids out to Chick-fil-a so I can have an hour to myself. Some nights he cleans the kitchen and bathes the children while I hold a fussy newborn. But, I have not hear him complain once. Not once.
Nora is so caring and so helpful and so sweet-hearted. She is flexible and funny and fills her role as big sister so well. She adores Evan and talks about wanting to "eat" him and how "squishy" he is. She loves to talk to him, hold him, compare her newborn pictures to him. We all think that at first he looked just like her. She is forgiving and understanding when her Momma is tired by the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes she'll just lay in my bed with me while I rest. She is such a gift and a friend to me.
Liam could not love his brother any more! He is proud and protective and provoking.....He cannot keep his hands off that baby. He enjoys holding Evan and imagining what they will be able to do together when Evan is bigger or when he, Daddy, and Evan can do "guy trips." He is spunky and loud and full of life and energy. At first I had to be tough on him and Stella because they just didn't understand the personal space and gentleness that babies need, so I think he was frustrated with me for keeping him "away" from Evan and also that so much of my attention was spent of Evan. But lately, he is my cuddle bug. When I wake up with Evan in the middle of the night, I always wake Liam up to go "pee pee" before I dive under the covers for a few more hours sleep. I love that I can once again pick him up and carry him to the potty. He's so long and heavy, and I know the time is limited that I will physically be able to carry him, but for now, I love it. I carry him to and from the bathroom in those wee hours and tuck him in. My favorite are the nights that he wakes up enough to softly say, "I love you, Momma" before I shut the door.
Stella is my little maternal mess. She honestly has no idea that she is two years old. It has not once occurred to her that she is any younger than Nora and Liam or in any way limited from doing all that they can. Her vocabulary explodes daily, and we are in that fun/not-so-fun stage where we are communicating much more. It's hard when she knows what she is saying but when we just have.no.clue. She loves Evan and still struggles keeping her hands off of him. All of his "things," in her mind, are really there for her. The bouncy seat, the pack-n-play, the swing. They are there for her use and for her "babies." She's such a little doll baby, and we enjoy her spunky personality so much.
Evan. Oh my sweet Evan. He is growing so fast, and there is a part of me that is just sad that it goes by in such a quick blur. I can literally feel him growing, feel the changes in his weight and in how his clothes fit. He's so much more alert these days, and I am so excited to see his smile for the first time. Around week two, he began to get fussy in the evenings and wanted to cluster feed every 2 hours or so. It's easier to walk through that when you know it won't last. Also, when you know it's your last baby. It's easier to just let him sleep on me instead of laying him down right away. It's easier to justify rocking him a few minutes longer because it's not every day I have an eleven day old or a four week old in my arms. He's doing such a great job with nursing, even though I cam pretty much drenched in milk most days and smell like spit up. There's such a sweetness to this stage, as hard as it is.
I want to remember these days and cherish them. We will one day sleep through the night. We may eventually get on a schedule. But for now, I just want to remember. I want to enjoy. I want to cherish. I want to soak it up. I want to be thankful for the chaos and the exhaustion and the desperation.