I know-- I sound a little frenzied and crazy-eyes.... But I'm telling you-- Three kids, two under 2, is HARD. And I could tell before the other grownups had to leave me that this would be tricky. How to get three little people dressed and still manage to put some kind of real clothes on my own person? How to stay cool when the newborn is screaming like a velociraptor every time we get in the car? (And believe you me-- if I could avoid the car, I WOULD. But Noah has preschool every day, so that's twice a day my little velociraptor has to be subjected to the carseat. Sorry, Veloci-Quinn.)
And how to feed the troops when inevitably one arm is holding the baby?
Well, I tell you what we did on one of our first days alone together:
Oh yeah. Thank you McD's. One happy meal for the Noah-kid. A Diet Coke and some cookies for me (but I was otherwise good and ate leftover chicken pot pie... Thanks, Lauren for making such a yummy dinner for us!). And graham crackers and strawberries for Lucy. She may have also had cheese. I don't remember. She seemed fed by the end. (Also, nice photobomb, Lucy. Top right.)
Yeah--- that one day we caved and did McDonald's... That was a good day. Because this was me for most of lunch:
And making lunch while the bebe is feeding is a bit tricky. I'm not saying it can't be done. I'm only saying I'm still new at this and the mom-of-three muscles are not really developed yet. I'm sure by week 6 I'll be sling-nursing the bebe like a champ and making quiches at the same time. With souffles for dessert. (I dunno-- I just always think "quiche" and "souffle" sound fancy and complicated. They might not be. I've never made them. check back on Week 6. Just kidding. I'm not gonna be making quiches and souffles anytime soon.)
So yes. Surviving this thing. Often with good moods to go along. Sometimes not. Here are some of the ways we're doing this thing:
Clockwise from top left:
1. lots of swaddling. The kid loves swaddles. (Also it seems my whole life is full of bold patterns. I'm noticing this a LOT with these iPhone photos of life recently. Stripes. Florals. Damasks. Colors. Crazy.)
2. The end table next to where I nurse bebe. Full of crap Lucy brings me, supplies I need close at hand, tv remotes to keep older kids entertained... These piles add up and I try to tackle them throughout the day when I can.
3. Slingin'. This here is the pouch sling. Preferred choice for Joe, too, who has discovered slingin' this time around and may just be a full convert.
4. And yes, crying. Honestly, it's unavoidable this time around. Sometimes I just have to put him down and let him cry so I can change Lucy's diaper... Drive to preschool. Comb my own hair. Talk to Noah about something important. I have to be okay with this. Quinn is clearly NOT okay with this. I mean, that face can get RED. *cue velociraptor cry*
5. and 8. NAPTIME. Oh goodness, I cherish Quiet Time 'round my house. Both older kids are down and out from 2-4:30ish, and Quinn usually sleeps at this time, too... so Mama sleeps. This past week I managed to take my own nap three out of the five days. Hallelujah!!
6. Swaddle/Sway/Side-Position: Thank you, Happiest Baby on the Block--- you have served us through three kids now. And you speak truth. Here, Quinn is engaging in three of the 5 "S's" of calming a newborn. He's swaddled. He's on his side with my hand on his tummy (he LOVES this position). And I'm swaying/jiggling him as I walk around. And voila-- he is sleeping. Thank you, Quinn.
7. Slingin' it, pt. 2: this is the Moby, and he is REALLY loving this one. I could not survive having three kids without slings/wraps. Sure, if Quinn were super mellow and happy to be laid down in a bouncy seat for long periods of time... but he ain't that baby. Sad to say. He is proving to be as intense as his siblings, and seems to want to be right next to me all the time (I mean, really.... who WOULDN'T? Kidding. I don't shower much these days. The appeal is minimal.)
And along with all that-- the slinging, the napping, the swaddling, the enduring the rough parts, we are also surviving because of meals from friends and loved ones--- THANK YOU!!!!
And I am surviving because of a tireless husband who is back at work full time, back in classes full time, yet comes home to dive into being a daddy full time without complaint. He let me be psycho when I can't hold it in anymore, and he offers to make me food so that I'll actually EAT (Yeah, I'm finding that managing meals for myself has been tricky).... And he keeps holding and bouncing and shushing Quinn when he is crying AGAIN...
So that's it. We're here. We're doing okay. We love the baby. We love each other. And we're working on those parents-of-three muscles. I gotta think that in another 3-6 weeks, we'll be amazed to see how more more adept we've gotten at this.
We might even be making quiches by then. But don't hold your breath for a souffle.