Here is a little update on how things are running in our family:
Jed: Jed has been a HUGE help to me since we have had Lily. He has taken over making his lunches (which I hope to start doing again...soon) to help me get a few more minutes of sleep in the mornings. He has more than doubled the number of diapers he has changed in his entire fatherhood experience, he used to be able to count that on one hand!! But he even does it without being asked or without giving me a hard time about it. The kids and I woke up to a perfectly clean house every morning that first week and to a hot breakfast. Jed makes a way better mom than me! He is the greatest and I couldn't do it without him for sure. Thanks hun.
Jeannette: I am trying my best to get adjusted and have been learning a lot in the process. I really am feeling my limitations and know that I could never be the mom I am supposed to be without heavenly help. It is just not possible. I took all four kids to the grocery store for the first time last week--a major accomplishment. It was pretty crazy yet funny. I had Hannah in the back of the cart with the groceries, Lily in her seat in the front, and Madelyn and Drew walking. Lily cried loudly for about 10 minutes in the store and I got a lot of turned heads, looks, and "You've got your hands full"s. But the best was yet to come. Only a few items were opened and nibbled on by Hannah, which was better than I expected. In the check out Hannah refused to be in the cart any more, so she got out. Drew and Madelyn were awesome helpers and bagged all the groceries even being careful of the eggs and bread! I placed some bags and a watermelon on the bottom of the cart and the rest of the cart was packed, no hope for Hannah to get a ride to the car. So I had Drew and Madelyn on either side of Hannah each holding a hand and then Drew held onto the cart. We went out of the store and off rolls my watermelon down the slight decline and into the parking lot. A kind lady catches it for me and it was luckily unharmed. Rather than place the watermelon back underneath the cart--susceptible to the same tragedy--I carried it in one arm and pushed the loaded cart with baby included to the side of the walkway. During the commotion of the rogue watermelon, my little train of children had detached themselves from the cart and Hannah was throwing a full-blown fit in the middle of the pedestrian crossing right outside the store--laying on the asphalt. There were several onlooking cars, since they were all stopped there just to let us through. Here are Drew and Madelyn trying to coax Hannah to get up and hold hands again with little success. With some coaxing from me she finally got up and we were able to let the traffic through. I caught the glance of a straight faced car driver and then just started to smile and laugh to myself. It must have looked rather nuts. Luckily I was able to find the humor IN the moment which was wonderful. And I learned a big lesson: I had gone into the store with very low expectations. I knew catastrophe would come. It wasn't a matter of "if" it was "when" and "how." So when it came, I was able to deal with it with a light heart. So, baby steps....baby steps to learning how to be a mother of 4.
Drew: Drew has just finished his last season of t-ball, he was a real slugger. He is way excited about pitching machine next year. I have to tell another story: the other day the kids and I were driving home from town and on our way there are a lot of 4-way stops. At one stop I was the first to arrive, but the car to my right pulled up and hardly stopped and drove right in front. I said "Hey!" and the kids asked me why I said that. I told them a man didn't follow the rules and didn't take his turn at the right time. I took that moment to ask the kids why we have rules and why it is important to follow the rules. The kids gave me their answers " to keep us safe" etc. And I kept going with it for a bit until Drew said, "But mom, what if he had an emergency and was headed to the hospital." I just said, "That's very nice of you to think that." Then Drew said, "I think we should just forgive him." So that pretty much ended my shpeal. Here I was trying to adjust the happenings to suit my purpose, when Drew really had the better lesson. Baby steps again--listen to my kids, sometimes they are wiser than I.
Madelyn: Madelyn has been learning to be a very good sister. She is learning more patience, as we all are. She is doing a lot better at talking things through with her little sister and she is really good at holding Lily. She is a really good girl with a very compassionate heart.
Hannah: Hannah likes to sing "keen up keen up every....keen up keen up every" when it is time to pick up. She is starting to be a bit softer with Lily, she still tries to hit her every day though too.....baby steps. I think she is starting to adjust and get used to Lily being here, but often is torn between wanting to be a little girl and wanting to be a big girl.
Lily: Is growing fast. She is more than 10 pounds now. She eats frequently and still likes to party at night instead of the day. Sometimes I don't mind being up for hours at night because I don't ever get to spend one on one time with Lily. She just gets held while I try to do everything else that needs done and attended to during the day. She loves to be held and definitely prefers our bed to hers. She is a sweetie and we love her lots.
Our family is doing well and we are learning A LOT. Mostly how much we DON'T know!! Oh boy...
During the last few weeks I have been able to spend a lot of time reading the conference Ensign while I have fed Lily. It has helped me tons with perspective, patience, and really trying hard to have faith and hope and a positive attitude--not that I am perfect in any way shape or form with any of those things. One talk I read came from Pres. Uchtdorf which was directed to the priesthood, but I found a paragraph that I think applies equally to motherhood:
"Let us always remember that one of the reasons God has entrusted [motherhood] to us is to help prepare us for eternal blessings by refining our natures through the patience which [motherhood] service requires."
I'm grateful I have a chance to be refined as I learn to be a mother of more children. I just hope that in the refiner's fire I come out better than I came in and that I don't get burned!!
4 weeks ago