has been coping brilliantly. She is very affectionate toward the babies still and is not shy about getting her needs met! She went on an old, steam powered merry-go-'round yesterday (she rode a horse named 'Rupert') at the craft fair and walked AGES. She didn't go in the pram once all day. She was polite and charming and got herself a free candle from one stall. I realised I had been letting things slide and not applying consequences and boundaries as well as I should have during late pregnancy (I was just too tired!) and once this was corrected she became a MUCH happier girl and stopped testing me as often. I have my delightful little flower back! Her conversation is brilliant and her compassion for the little boys is amazing (unless Billy has one of her toys of course!). Giving her small moments like the merry-go-'round just lights ME up for weeks afterwards and becomes a treasure we share together. She has decided that when she grows up, she is going to have triplets. I have no doubt she will rise to ANYTHING life gives her!
is getting over a cold at the moment, just a quick head cold thankfully. His vocabulary is really expanding I realised when be brought me a book, handed it to me and yelled "READ!". Yes, we are working on asking NICELY now LOL I will have the image of him and Lilli in Melbourne in my mind forever. Lilli (6 weeks older than Billy) was sitting on a kick along trike in the back yard with a stunned look on her face as my kids played in the yard around her. Billy, it seemed, was especially daunting. He was running in circles yelling "AAAAAAHHHHHHAAAHHHH" at the top of his lungs. Every now and then he would stop, toot the horn on Lilli's kick along car, yell "OY", laugh then continue to run in circles. The poor girl looked very befuddled by the whole affair! I probably should have been using this time to calmly and patiently teach him about playing quietly and respectfully at other people's houses, but I was nearly in tears laughing! Billy is Billy. I have to work hard at not spoiling him because his smile just melts my heart, and I have to work hard at not breaking that wonderful, strong spirit of his because it will go on to great things if nurtured. Hopefully, with a whole lot of prayer, we will get the balance right and he will channel that powerful energy and enthusiasm for good!
is AMAZING! As I told Jon while we were away, we need to keep that recipe! He sleeps and eats and sleeps and eats - smiles and laughs - then sleeps and eats! He is so HUGGABLE I need to be careful not to waste whole days (weeks even!) just sitting on the couch holding him. The smell of a newborn baby is just as I remember - nothing on this earth smells as good! He got his own crowd of admirers yesterday tucked into his hug-a-bub all day. How he is so good natured and adaptable at his age is beyond me - but I am glad that he is! I have started bathing the boys together and big bro Billy gets smiles and giggles. Erin helps me and gets her own fair share too. She was kneeling down next to him saying (in that sing-song voice everyone seems to naturally use with babies) "are you YAWNING? Can you give me a yawn little Christopher?" ever the obliging one, he did LOL I can have another ten if they are all like him!
Anyway, we are slowly making our way back to the flight plan. We will get there soon I hope!
Things this time has reiterated for me:
Mess begets mess!! - if the house is messy, it gets messier quicker. It is harder to pick things left freshly out of place amongst the mass of disorder, things get broken or misused because they are not safely put away or cleaned promptly. It is harder to clean a messy house than to maintain a tidy one.
A cluttered, untidy house makes it harder to raise kids - They don't turn into instant demons, but things slowly slip as the structure of routine isn't there anymore and lessons long learned are forgotten. Items usually safely out of reach find their way into little fingers too.
Helpful kids are a lifesaver! - it is worth training children for first time obedience! If I hadn't it'd be a riot 24 hours a day here. My kids consider it a treat to "work together as a team" and using this can occupy those little hands productively rather than leaving them unattended for mischief and yet MORE mess. Yes, they are naughty and they get into thing they shouldn't (they are kids!) but without the discipline, it would be 10 times worse!
You need to allow down time to be just that - I have exhausted myself a little over the last few weeks trying to keep thing to the usual standard. It just ain't gonna happen! I have to remind myself that this is temporary. It doesn't have to all be fixed in one day (baby steps!!). I have my flight plan, I just have to edge towards it slowly, keeping priorities in focus.
You need to put on your own oxygen mask first - during the safety talk before take off on a plane, they state that you need to put your OWN oxygen mask on in the event of an emergency BEFORE helping others, including children. This makes sense, because if I pass out, who is going to take care of my kids? I need to start having more time with God's word. I need to start taking care of my body more by eating right, getting a little more exercise and getting to bed before midnight. I need to realise I am not superwoman and sit down for a rest every now and then. I need to remember to drink more - or at least have A drink before midday! If I do this, I will be able to cope with life better and take care of my kids better and during times of stress or celebration, I will be able to join in whole heartedly and do what needs to be done. Now I just need to do that!
There is no new news on Granny, please keep her and my family in your prayers.