I'll start with a picture:
This is our first full-family picture, taken when we met with Stephen's folks at IHOP this past Sunday. Too bad I look skeptical and Jack is poking his own face out of proportion. I suppose we'll have many years to perfect the art of family picture-taking...or many years to get frustrated and finally give up our attempts.
It helps me to look at that photo and remind myself how much I truly love our situation, as this has been a tiring and sometimes trying week. I think that initially, when we brought Charlotte home, I had lots of energy due to pure adrenaline: I could do this! I could care for three perfectly-behaved and well-dressed children while keeping a pristine home and occasionally cooking dinner, all while maintaining a high level of personal hygiene, complete with make-up! I could be Superwoman! I could do it all, even on barely four hours of sleep!
This week the whole "four hours of sleep" thing has really overshadowed everything else, and I have felt all my good (if not ridiculous) intentions crumbling around me. My house is filthy, at least by my standards, yesterday I did laundry without sorting lights and darks (eek!), and today I barely noticed that the boys had smeared their clean white onesies with orange macaroni and cheese. Oh, and I almost did not shower this morning--I managed to sneak one in, but as I was preparing to dry my hair the baby started crying; subsequently, I look like a frightened hedgehog. I was OK with the hedgehog look because I knew that I was not stepping foot outside the house today. Of course today would be the day that a friend would inform me of a fantastic garage sale as well as a clearance sale at our local consignment store. I did go out and get a huge amount of kids' clothes for next to nothing, but I had to subject everyone there to The Hedgehog. Sigh.
If you know me at all, you know this is all painfully difficult for me to admit. I am a control freak, and to feel like my life is in chaos is about the worst thing I know. I want to cry when I see my kitchen floor or remember that there is a load of towels downstairs, waiting to be washed. I feel like I can't even form words properly today. My mind is gluey and sluggish; I'm definitely into the sleep deprivation stage of motherhood. I've started to have weird hallucinations at night: I think the baby is in my arms instead of in her bed; I think I have two newborns instead of one; I ask Stephen to do bizarre tasks, something one should never do since Stephen is whacked-out enough at night without anyone's help. In short, I'm exhausted.
To add to the general melee, we think Charlotte might be a tad colicky. We never experienced colic with the boys, and seeing her little baby body all folded up from a tummy ache and to hear her cries makes my heart hurt. (And my head, it makes my head hurt, too.) I have cut most dairy out of my diet and am instead drinking soy milk, in case that is bothering her. I pray that is the solution! Otherwise, we get to look forward to a couple months of colic.
I know this is all very normal--shoot, I experienced it (sans colic) times two the first time around! But now it is very, very hard to catch up on rest (no one wants to nap at the same time), and it is very, very hard to care for all three kids all day by myself. The boys, especially Baylor, are still having a hard time adjusting to the shift in attention, which doesn't help matters. Luckily I have a wonderful, supportive husband who is home as much as possible to help. Wednesday he stayed home from work and managed to take Baylor out on a Daddy Date so the little guy could get some good, quality one-on-one attention from his Dad. I think he and Jack will most likely survive.
Just keep me in your prayers. This is a difficult transition for all of us, and I can't afford to be out of my mind for very long.
On that happy note, I will close with some recent photos.