Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A little Labor Day lovin'

I've sat down to write this post a half-dozen times, and each time I barely get a word or two typed out.  The baby needs held, the nearly-2-year-old needs a diaper change, the nearly-5-year-old needs his shoes tied, and the 3-year-old needs a drink.  Need, need, need.  Know what mama needs?  Just a few minutes to herself!

The sleepy-pout.  I die.

Love when she's completely and overwhelmingly relaxed.
It hasn't been any easy month.  Jon was supposed to be gone 2 days the other week and it ended up being the entire week.  A whole week of just me and the littles.  I think it's funny when people tell me my "hands are full."  Ummm... two hands, four kids?  "Full" is an understatement, I'm pretty sure they were "full" two babies ago.  And when it's just me, just me changing diapers and clothes, just me keeping up with the house and food and dishes.  Just me sloughing through the dreaded witching hour and laying down the law at bedtime ... Sometimes, okay most times, it's just seems like a little too much.

Post-Sunday school.  She's the female version of the collective Joshua and Caleb, spying out the promised land.

She loves her tubby time!
We won't go back and rehash all those events, but suffice it to say, many tears were shed by the kids and I.  Every.single.day.  Now that Jon's home again I'm trying to bury that chapter underneath a couple of other good ones.  Speed reading if you will.

We've finally starting making it to the 9am church service on time, and color coordinated at that!


Oh, and did I mention I just had a baby six weeks ago?  I keep forgetting that.  Keep forgetting that if this was an "outside the home" job, I'd still be on maternity leave.  Keep forgetting that I'm supposed to take it easy.  Keep forgetting that the reason my infant likes to be held all the time is because she's just that - an infant.  Keep forgetting that my body isn't entirely back to normal and that I'm awash in a strange mixture of hormones.  That the world really isn't that terrible and if I just tread water through this fresh burst of tears a happiness wave will soon follow.

So thankful that our friends Nick and Lindsey were in town while Jon was gone. They brought me coffees, made me dinner, watched my boys, and made the kids super-cool super capes!

When we get together, that's 7 Coastie kids under the age of 5.  It's REALLY, REALLY fun.  Just kidding.
And that's where we are now, surfing this current wave of happiness.  The Coast Guard gave Hubby a four-day weekend and we savored every minute of it.  Jon got to work cleaning the house Friday afternoon (after a round of golf, of course) and Joci decided to take a few stellar naps that did not require me to hold her, and so by bedtime the house was back in proper order.  It's amazing how much having a clean house can brighten my mood.

Super Jude and his super smile... and Super Jack getting his white socks super dirty.
And we celebrated the holiday with Jon's sister, Katie, and her family.  We spent Saturday at a local beach and exchanged babysitting and date nights the rest of the weekend.  And while it wasn't exactly a  relaxing holiday, having houseguests certainly helps me take the focus off myself and (as we often say to the boys) my stinky attitude.

We've said goodbye to newborn diapers and clothes earlier this month.  Mommy's having a hard time packing everything up. :(
I seem to fall more in love with Labor Day weekend each year.  I mean, it's not every day we celebrate the END of something.  And with the sun shining outside and the air conditioning still running on full blast, it's hard to believe that we've said farewell to summer.  We haven't dug the leaf garland out just yet (still have to work my way through a couple of boxes of baby and kid and maternity clothes for storage).  But we've already started to "feel" fall.  I feel it in the way we're settling down, with less travel on the calendar and more events here at home.  I feel it in the way my kids have stopped fighting bedtime because "it's not dark yet."  I feel it every time I pull a peach crisp out of the oven (we've had a lot of peach crisp lately, per Jack's requests!).  I feel it whenever Jude wears his new "school shoes" and Jack asks me to put on his shinguards and soccer cleats so he can kick the ball around outside.

Notice Jude purposely trying to NOT be photographed.

It was a wonderful summer, a summer full of changes.  And this new season is looking to be quite full of promise as well.  I'm sure there will be some tough days, some days where it's all I can do to tread water.  And likewise we'll have days of smooth sailing where we all ride the happiness wave.  Like any good book, we can race through the bad parts and take in the good chapters over and over again.  We'll read on, keep turning pages, and of course, never, ever sneak a peek at the last page.

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