And so, since it is emotionally draining for me to be around others, can someone please tell me how I should function as a mother of four little people? Four little people that require my services for what seems like every hour of the day, and even a few hours at night. It's not that I don't want to be around my kids, or that I mind expending energy on them, but just that it's no surprise that at the end of the day, or a particularly long week, or perhaps in the middle of a very cold and snowy winter, I'm just fresh out of juice.
|New way to accessorize: winter hats!|
I think you can imagine what my fellow introverted mamas and I feel, then, about obligations. Just the sound of that word makes me shudder. Right now, we have few obligations. In the future, I don't know what to expect. When I talk to my sister-in-law and mother of four boys between 8 and 13, I get a glimpse of a life full of obligations. Sports practice, music lessons, swim class, clubs, youth group, PTA meetings. Oh gosh, it fills me with fear!
|Mama's famous last words: Sure, I'll help you re-build your Lego fire station ... 3 hours later...|
Please don't think that I'm rude or anti-social. I truly love spending time with people. We had some Coast Guard friends over for dinner on Saturday (which was preceded by an exceedingly long and unexpected doctor's appointment for Julia the day before, preschool the day before that, a snowstorm the day before that, and Joci's check-up appointment the day before that - obligations). The last time we hung out with this family, I was still pregnant, that's how long it's been. And it was a great time, as well as a late night for the kids, which was fine. The next day was church, also fine. Followed by our small group meeting at our house. We enjoy our small group and love hosting, but after days on end of obligations I was more than ready to call it an early night.
|So far, the winter of 2014 has been everything we've dreamed of!|
It was a lovely night. I was the first to leave at 11:00pm. In case you didn't know, that's way past my bedtime. Particularly as I was up with the baby numerous times the night before. I was having a hard time keeping from yawning. And by the time I got home, topped off the baby (in hopes it would prevent her from waking me up a few hours later) and changed Julia's dirty diaper (that I could smell the moment I opened her door, but which she slept through completely), I was wiped. All I wanted to do was get in bed and stay there, all through the night, straight through breakfast, maybe even through lunch. Not even sleeping. Just laying there in peace and quiet.
|When she's up extra-early in the morning I tuck her in next to me. And even though I rarely fall back to sleep, at least I can breathe in that fading new baby smell.|
|Jack in the living room.|
|Julia in the family room.|
|Jude in the girls' room.|
|Jack dragging stuff up two floors to store in his bed.|
|Julia playing in my make-up and putting blush on her lips.|
|And me creating dust in the kitchen. Because "home days" almost always include baking.|
Thursday was supposed to be simple, just preschool and back, then preschool and back again. But the doctor called the night before and asked if I could bring Lia back in for another test. (We're dealing with an "unsolved" mystery here that has involved collecting and depositing a few "samples." I'll leave the rest to your imagination.) What I will say is, I'm kicking myself for not getting this girl potty-trained yet. I imagine collecting a urine sample would be much, much easier on a potty-trained child. As it stands for us, there was a lot of waiting. And waiting.
|I brought her along on the second trip, because the first time I left her sleeping and then ended up spending over 2 hours at the doctor's office and fielding phone calls from a stressed Daddy!|
And doing the "pee pee dance." And lots of begging on my part.
And then we go back home and wait for the "other sample" that we need. Which always happens soon after leaving the doctor's office but not soon enough that I can take it back before preschool is over. And so I deliver said "sample" in 13 degree weather, with four kids in tow, plus all of their Polar Vortex gear ... I'm only explaining all this because it's happened TWICE in the past two weeks. On a positive note, when you walk into the lab with two loud preschoolers, an active toddler, a hungry baby, and a bag of "samples"... they usually don't make you wait.
|"Hmmm, maybe this will be good for my sore gums!"|
|She kept calling herself "fwend." Maybe not my introverted child...|
|42 degrees nothin'! We're grabbing fresh air while we can!|
|And blowing bubbles like it's not below-freezing!|