Yes, it's mayhem. A controlled mayhem, but still mayhem. Sometimes I yell and have to walk into another room and take a deep breath. It's not their fault that they have so much excess energy. Sometimes all I want to do is sit on the couch and cuddle my last child, savor these newborn moments that won't be here much longer, before life takes hold again. Sometimes I want to scream because I thrive on getting things done, and nothing is getting done fast enough. Sometimes I just let it go and know that I don't have to report to anyone. No one is keeping tabs on me, no one is taking notes on my mothering capabilities, in order to give me a pass or fail at the end of the week.
We have accomplished quite a lot over the past couple of weeks. The girls seem to have adapted well to the arrival of their little brother, and while cabin fever sometimes sets in and the My Little Pony theme has been ensconced in my brain for eternity, we haven't fallen apart. I've actually been able to provide three somewhat nourishing meals a day and bed times have been easier than expected some days. Nursing three kids to sleep can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you are counting on the cluster feeding newborn to go down first. We have ventured outside several times, gone for coffee and croissants, ran around the park, gone to dinner...
I remember those days when I had just had Luna and going outside seemed like such a huge feat. Two more kids later and I just cannot stay inside. The girls have had their doctor’s check-ups and shots, and Ludo goes for his two week appointment in a few days. He's already growing, out of newborn size clothes now which isn't a surprise, nursing like a champ, quiet and observant, mesmerized by his sisters. Luna likes to help, Aurora is hot and cold, and I have to make sure her easygoing personality doesn't get lost in the mix.
The apartment doesn't look too bad, it's actually pretty tidy despite the fact that the girls think the couch is a trampoline and pile the cushions on the floor for extra bounce. And despite the fact that Aurora has taken to dumping dry cereal on the carpet once she has eaten all the good bits (raisins), and then stomping on it with glee. There are still boxes in the closet, waiting to be unpacked, but they can wait. I'm itching to buy closet organizers and get all of the clothes out that have been packed away since we left NYC, but that will wait too. I'm kicking myself for thrifting the two way umbrella stroller we had a few months ago because while Ludo seems to like being worn, Sacramento summers are just too hot for baby wearing for hours under the sun. This kind of limits my movements with the kids by myself for a bit... Luna prefers to walk anyway, but our double stroller isn't made for tiny babies, so we are figuring out alternative solutions.
Being completely independent is super important for me, especially as Cesar works so many long hours and I like to do my own food shopping. I need to be able to go back to my food planning, bread making, crockpot-using self, so that I don't stress about healthy meals and making sure the girls are eating a varied diet. I know I ask a lot from myself, but it's how I function. I love lists and plans and organizing. I also love deciding to do something on a whim, something that can be a little tricky with a few kids in your arms. I want to explore our new neighbourhood, try out new breakfast spots and dinner locations, and photograph new murals and old street art. I do feel like we are now at a point where we can actually look towards the future a little more, and make some plans. Plans that don’t involve a ton of money but that are fun for everyone, even this tiny (big) little baby boy of ours. By the way it still surprises me to say the words “my son”, I’m still in that place where the last 10 months seem to be a little bit of a dream, even though that beautiful little face looking up at me is so perfectly real.
But then I look at my body, and I know nothing has been a dream, and for the first time after a pregnancy I know what to expect and surprise myself that I am not overwhelmed by the need to lose the stomach. It’s been two weeks, and I know full well how my body works: it takes a while. And while I didn’t put that much weight on this time around, I don’t even care to look at any numbers on a scale. I have time. Everything will go back into place, and all of those clothes that I haven’t worn for years will once again see the light of day, but maybe next year. This year is one of recovering and finding new routines and starting on the next chapter as our life as a family. And there is no question of dieting while nursing three children – I am constantly hungry, burning calories faster than I can eat them. Just send me all the salads and cheese and pasta please, and liters and liters of water. That’s all I want right now (and chocolate, but who doesn’t want that?!). And for some reason butterscotch Angel Delight – which you can’t get here of course.
Ah, time is up for today’s musings… I have some work to finish, a little baby to bathe and bedtime stories to read. I promise to have Ludo’s birth story finished this week too, before it all becomes a blur that blots out the scary parts. I have to remember those parts so that I don’t listen to my heart when it starts telling me it misses being pregnant again. Back I go to the perfect kind of mayhem, tripping over the blocks on the floor as I go.