Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sleeping Arrangements

I came across this image on Facebook recently and thought I should share how the sleeping arrangements are in our home. This is obviously from a husband's point of view, but it is so far from the truth in our bed that it's quite comical. 
Most of our friends know that we are co-sleepers. What this has meant for us is that while our children our infants, we feel that sleeping with mother is the least disruptive to everyone's sleep, and the most natural and comforting for the baby. However, transferring out of mother's bed when the time is right can be challenging. Joy and Grace are still challenged with sleeping in their shared bed all night long. We've chosen to have them share a queen bed because they have spent so much of their lives cuddling during sleep that it seems like a comforting practice. This is how things would ideally look every night all night long. As I type this at the beginning of the evening, it is in fact how they are sleeping.
 Peaceful nights like this one usually don't last that long. They are in fact all sleeping here, and it's a priceless photo.
 This is how our sleeping is distributed at much later points in the evening or early morning. Gradually throughout the night, Joy or Grace creep their way into our bed. Depending on our points of exhaustion, we might redirect them back to their bed a time or two, but eventually we get worn down and just don't notice that they've come into the bed until you have Joy sleeping on top of the covers and cannot move.
 And eventually, this is how things look by morning. On this particular morning, Andrew had moved into Joy and Grace's bed, leaving me wrenched between three girls. I carefully climbed out of bed to capture this picture. In the center of the bed is Grace. I was laying in between Grace and Sage (on the upper right) and Joy is reversed on the right side below Sage. 
I know that we have chosen this path, so I'm not really complaining. Even as I try to focus on our need to keep redirecting Joy and Grace to their bed in the night, Andrew admits that he likes cuddling with one. One is sweet. But three at a time in a queen bed is a little too much. Maybe we just need a bigger bed.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

For Better or For Worse

This post was inspired and a challenge from Living Locurto (see her post on the topic here: Amy of Living Locurto shared how her husband could not part with his pre-marriage blanket and asked if there was anything one or the other member of our partnership could not part with. I'm going to ignore the possibilities that I might be tragically hanging on to some such sentimental item and quickly turn the tables on my beloved. Let me introduce you to what's been hiding in the back of our closet since the beginning of our marriage: the Wilson's hunter green leather jacket with extra zippers, buckles and gathered waist. It's a good thing Andrew is very charming and intelligent and I was able to bypass that he was wearing this atrocity. I mean, really? When was colored leather ever fashionable for men (or women)? Please remember that we met and were married in 2000, and though I might not be up to date with the latest trends, I'm pretty sure this was not a raging trend of the year 2000. I'll toss the question out there like Living Locurto did, what item is hiding in the back of your closet that can't be parted with?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Our Growing Family

A friend of mine recently asked why I hadn't updated my blog in over a year. The easiest answer was, I have four kids. Occasionally when I venture into public with my children in tow I get comments of, "I don't know how you do it." And the truth of the matter is, I don't. I have no idea how people manage to keep their kids clothed, fed, and educated and still have time for cutesy blog posts. By the time I have three or four children sleeping at night, I just want to sit back with a few Oreos, milk, The Big Bang Theory, and just breathe.

I was trying to figure out just where to start posting again. The last post was Hope starting kindergarten; do I post the picture of her starting first grade, lest you think she is repeating kindergarten? (She's not.)

I suppose it might be easiest to do a quick summation on our family members like a belated Christmas letter.

Andrew has been working for HP for over two years now. From this wife's point of view, it's great. He works from home with occasional travel. He enjoys what he's doing; he's in a capacity that draws on his strengths. He genuinely enjoys the people he works with. They are easily people that we would be friends with if they lived closer and weren't scattered across the country. Win-win-win.

I stay at home and go about with the children. I have many moments where my patience is tried and I'm worn ragged (lest you become deluded into thinking I'm a perfect mother), but I am happy to be a mother to my four beautiful, bright daughters. I still like crafting and party planning. We recently celebrated Joy and Grace's 4th birthday with a princess party. ( I served as the president of our local mothers of multiples club last year, but was happy to release the title when I became pregnant with our fourth. I still enjoy the friendships within that club, as well as newer friendships with the local Mothers of Preschoolers. I enjoy helping out with publicity and flyer design for these groups. I spent last fall and spring accompanying Hope's elementary school choir, and it was a fun way to get to know some of the kids and families at school a little better.

Hope has really been enjoying school this year. I was worried a little when she spent the last half of kindergarten saying that she hated school, but I remember her telling me after school one day that even though she had a hard time getting up in the morning, that she really did like school. First grade is a fun year when they start really reading and writing. It's almost a little dangerous because we used to letter spell words that we didn't want the children to understand, and her brain is always going, listening all the time and figuring out what we're saying. I love listening to her read Magic Tree House books, and I love seeing her mind always going. This year has been special for her because she has truly developed a, as she would put it, BFF. She adores her friend, and loves recess and lunch all the more because they are together. She loves sleepovers and play dates and planning a lifelong friendship together. She's told me that they plan to be mommy friends together someday, and I hope that's true. I know that friendships come and go, but they serve great purposes at the points in our lives when we need them.

Joy is very loving and thoughtful. She often looks for ways to help out with the baby or bring you something you might need. She loves princesses and dancing and singing. She often sings her own made-up songs, or will sometimes do free play on the piano, as my mom said I did when I was her age.

Grace is our budding scientist. Hope really loves science (we thank Grandma Dori for encouraging this trait), but I don't remember her being this strongly interested in science at this age. Grace is currently our resident roly-poly rescuer (or murderer if you count all the suffocated ones that we've taken out of the wild and put in a plastic container). We can hArdly step out of the house without her searching the sidewalk and finding a roly poly.

Sage brightened our world last December. She came in her own time (four days late) in her own way (she broke her arm during birth), but she is a delight to the whole family. All of her big sisters love holding her and can't seem to give her enough loves and kisses. Hope will sometimes just randomly say, "Sage is soooo cute." Despite her broken arm (which has healed completely now), she is a good tempered baby. Andrew seems to think she might be our fussiest, but sometimes she has to cry a little longer than the others did while I am meeting the needs of older sisters. Or sometimes, the tired mommy or daddy just don't have the same energy and patience that they did when there was just one or three children. She is really quite patient and will reward me with sleeping in some mornings so I can help get kids ready for school or will happily play in her bouncy chair in the morning.

I hope to post more frequently, but as a mother of four and constantly encumbered with unpredictability, I'm not making any promises.