Ok, I won't lie, he has been more helpful this time around than with all the other three kids combined. Not that he wasn't helpful with the others, buuuuut he works long hours and momma had it under control (ish) so his role was the bread winner and the fun guy at night. But not this go 'round. We actually really needed him. Four kids is a lot. And four kids who are 5 1/2 and younger need a lot. There was just no way we weren't going to be utilizing him. Between holding the baby while dinner gets cleaned up (joys of having a needy baby!), or picking up toys, or feeding the animals (pretty sure we forgot that one a few times- thank the Lord the kids give them scraps!), or answering Jay's 1,000,000 questions, or hugging momma after a long day.... to answering the girls' needs in the middle of the night (he has been on night duty for the first time ever!), or taking Jay to swim meets, and taking off work early to be at the baseball games, and driving to birthday parties... I mean, the list could go on and on. Anthony has been a super husband the past few months. All while maintaining a very demanding job! Molly has totally morphed into a Daddy's girl and is smitten beyond measure, and the big kids' relationships have gotten even stronger than they already were. He has really started to figure Kelsey out and is able to help with her more than before.
And we've really strengthened as a team. Has it been perfect? Heck no! Has it been easy? Yeah right! Have we fought and bickered and nagged and gone to bed mad? Yes! But truly, if you look at the big picture, we have come together and united more than before. Most days we just look at each other at the end of the day and laugh and say "we made it!" Some days we just don't know how. Some days we fall asleep at 9:00 without talking much at all. But we're still a team. And we're stronger than ever.
So yeah, I'd say that worked out pretty well. :)
This child. Seriously. I thought at the beginning of the summer when Kelsey first came that we might not survive his questions. And talking. And talking some more. I have never heard a child talk so much in my life. Or ask so many questions. His mind just never ever stops. He wants to know everything about everything. He needed much more than I could give him at the beginning of the summer. He needed activity and mental and physical stimulation. Thank goodness for swim team, but he needed even more than that. Thank you LORD for Grandeb and then for camps, sports, friends, and cousins/aunts. It at least got him over the hump a little bit.
But this boy is truly the sweetest to his baby sisters. He is so good to Kelsey and she just adores him. He and CK are best buds and play together so well every day (and they also fight and bicker just like you'd expect). And Molly thinks he is the hero of all (next to her daddy). Jay has done a great job this summer- and has matured more than I'd like to admit.
My little momma. She has been so helpful with all things baby. "Hey Char, I need to go teetee, will you hold Kelsey for me so I can go?" And she is more than happy to oblige. She grabs diapers, makes sure all the other kids have what they need, and is seriously like a second mom. All by her choice, I need to add. I promise I am not forcing this- this is what she loves to do! And I remember feeling like that when I was little! She plays school and Barbies and mommy with her baby dolls. She helps Molly when she needs it and keeps Jay in line. She's always doing cartwheels and handstands around the house and never ceases to amaze with her fashion shows!
But she's also become a little anxious and scared about being away from Mom. I don't know if it was the hospital stay or the new baby in general, but she never wants to leave the house away from me. No camp (her gymnastics camp was a fight every day to get her to go- until she was there and loved it!), no playdates, no sleepovers with Grandeb or cousins... she just cries and says, "But I will miss my mom!" And lest you think I don't give her enough attention... we play Barbies, we run errands just the two of us, we color and draw, we cook together... I can't figure out what I need to be doing for this girl, but you better believe I am working on it from all angles! And then again, thankful for Grandeb who can spend more one on one time with her and takes her to do special little things. <3 p="">
This girl. It's like you'd never know we had another baby in the house. She has embraced her two year old self with a BANG. And we've adopted a motto for this one... "Molly don't care" And she really doesn't. Kelsey is screaming her head off? Molly don't care. You ask her to pick up her toys? She looks at you like you have three heads and thinks, Molly don't care. It's never ending. And it's hysterical. We have done such a poor job disciplining her because she just really DOESN'T care. And nothing she does is that bad that we need to rule with an iron fist. So she just does what she does and we try to figure it out as best we can!
But seriously, she's been fine with this transition. Some days I can tell she is feeling a little needy, and I'm certainly there to snuggle and play and do whatever she needs. But most days, she just goes on as her little independent self. She has truly become SUCH a daddy's girl. He started taking the girls to bed each night because they take longer than Jay. So since I have Kelsey, I put the easy one to bed, and he can stay a little longer with the girls. And because of that (and because of Anthony being on night duty for her and Anthony having to be Mr. Nurse when she had mono), she loves and adores her daddy. Oh man, there is no one else! It's a precious little relationship! I'm super thankful for this easy transition. And you better believe Anthony is LOVING every bit of it!
And finally, Mommy....
So, the beginning was hard. Really really really hard. I don't know what made it so hard, but it was. Maybe it was a high needs, screaming, eating all the time baby. Maybe it was three other kids ages 2-5. Maybe it was all of the above. Maybe it was none of the above. But something made this transition so much harder for me than any of the others. This was the first time I've had a newborn and realized "I can't do it on my own this time." That was hard for me. I am someone who doesn't need help. I don't accept help. I can do it- alone. But not this time. I needed all of my village. Anthony's parents, my sisters, friends who offer to cook or drop someone off or bring me something, and especially Anthony and my mom. I desperately needed both of them. And because Anthony was out earning our livelihood, it was my mom and me. And Lord, THANK YOU for my mom. I absolutely would not have survived this summer without her. Seriously. She drove the bigs to appointments they had, she took them so I could rest with the littles, she swam with all of them while I sat inside and consoled a baby, she spoiled them, she fed all of us, she ran errands for me, she did ANYTHING at all that I needed. I swear, she helped me more in the past two months than in the past six years combined. No joke. I needed her.
Because this was so hard for me, I feel like I have talked to my friends so much less. I feel like there is always someone who needs my attention, and there is literally not a free second without a kid to make a phone call. I'm not joking. Once school starts, that will be very different. But over the summer, no. free. time. The laundry hasn't gotten done nearly as much and dinners are pretty simple. The chores have piled up and the clutter is creeping up. There are errands to be run and things for the home to be done.
Until this past week and a half.
Momma is BACK! I finally feel like myself again! And I don't mean that in a post-partum, baby blues, emotional perspective. I mean that in a physically capable perspective. I finally feel like we are ready to GO GO GO like we used to! Laundry is getting done again, the playroom has been cleaned out and toys donated, dinners are looking semi-decent again, groceries are being bought (you better believe I take all four kids with me!), and the kids are actually being taken on outings to do FUN things! Gosh, it feels SO GOOD to feel like me again. My mom has finally gotten to REST from all that she's done for me this summer. Anthony can breathe a sigh of relief that his wife is back. And I can truly FINALLY feel confident that not only are we going to survive with four kids, we are going to THRIVE with four kids. We've got this!
It's been a loooong two months. But the Squill Six are ready to rock and roll- and take on whatever life brings our way!