Friday, July 31, 2015

Our Family of Six

The summer is flying by.  I've been writing a blog entry for weeks now about little Eliza Maree, and it is still not finished!  It might have something to do with the fact that my writing is usually limited to 20 minute intervals while children are sleeping or at night before I collapse into bed.  I will finish that entry because it's a special one that I'm putting a lot of thought into.  Even this blog entry has taken me two weeks to finish!

Eliza is eight weeks old today, and life feels normal again.  It feels like she has been a part of our family forever.  I feel like I was pregnant ages ago--feeling those little kicks inside me and wondering when this little person would make her arrival.  It's strange to think that Hannah and Jack won't remember life before Eliza was here, and almost all of Lilly's memories will be after Eliza arrived as well.

Our summer has been everything that I wanted it to be, and we still have a month before school starts.  We make very few plans and take every day as it comes.  I am making a conscious effort to be present and really enjoy this summer.  We don't have to move into a new house, we don't have summer camps or school drop off and pick ups.  I don't have to rush everyone out the door in the morning.  Some days we stay home and the little ones play out the back in the pool and the water table.  Other days they ride bikes in the culdesac or we go for long walks.  We've been to the library and lots of parks.  We've met up with friends that we don't get to see to often during the school weeks.  The beauty of having no plans is that if it's rainy and everyone wants to stay in pajamas and play in the basement all day, they can do that.  I love seeing what the older three decide to do with their time.  They create elaborate games, pretending to be Jim and me or their favorite family from the neighborhood.  They've set up a store and spent hours shopping and stocking the store.  They spend the majority of their days out the back, making concoctions of dirt and water and bubbles and finding dinosaur fossils (aka rocks).

Since Eliza joined us at the beginning of June, I constantly find myself stopping and being thankful for what I have.  For our growing family with four healthy little ones, a house that I love and am proud to call ours, siblings and parents who come and visit and make life that much more fun, a neighborhood where people couldn't be kinder, close friends who bring over dinner and drinks when they know we can't leave Eliza with a babysitter yet, and most of all, for a husband who has made all this possible.

Having a baby brings out so many emotions (as I'm sure Jim will attest to) and often, these emotions come out of the blue.  Quite a few times, especially those early days in the hospital, I have looked at Eliza and burst into tears as I wonder if she will be our last baby.  Jim and I don't pretend to know what the future holds.  We've never been ones to say, "we're having ___ # of children" or "we're officially done having kids..."  In the back of my mind, I do know that this could be it and I can't really wrap my head around that.  Since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a Mum with lots of little ones (just like my Mum) and to think that the phase of my life where I have babies is over makes me tear up every time.  Jim, in his rational husband speaking to his irrational, emotional, post baby wife, tells me not to think that when I look at little Eliza, but instead to take everything a day at a time and just enjoy her.  And that's what I'm doing.  Most of the time, I am just enjoying every day.  I'm soaking up the swaddles and the middle of the night newborn feedings.  I love it when Eliza falls asleep on me and find myself worrying less about making sure she spends all her time sleeping in her bassinet.  I love these newborn days and know that they are dwindling.

Eliza has slotted right into our lives.  Her bassinet is up in our bedroom so she always has a quiet, cool place to sleep.  Lilly and Hannah want to hold her and help with her all the time.  Bath time is a constant fascination, and they both love trying to swaddle her.  Jack likes to lie down next to her and just stare.  Now that she has started smiling, he loves looking at her and trying to make her smile, but he has no real interest in holding her.  And everyone is intrigued by breastfeeding.  I've answered more questions about nipples and milk than I knew was humanly possible.  I think that after six weeks, we've all come to an understanding that only Moms can feed babies, although Hannah has changed her baby doll's name from Daisy to Eliza and constantly lifts up her shirt to feed her from her "nibbles".  As amazing as it is to watch Eliza during this time, watching the older three become big sisters and brothers again always makes me smile.

I could keep writing and writing, but I'm going to stop there and actually publish a blog post.  Otherwise, the unfinished entries will keep piling up.  Time for us to keep enjoying summer.