Well, we're slowly adjusting to our life as a family of five.
It's been a pretty big adjustment for me. I'm finding that it's true what many moms have told me, that the third child really puts you over the top. Suddenly, all I can do is try my best to meet the needs of my children and everything else takes a back seat. I'm having a hard time even keeping up with the housework. I used to think that once I quit working as a photographer, my life would be much easier and my house much cleaner. Ha!
Here's the typical state of my kitchen since baby Mackay came home:
Note, to the right, how the dishes are stacked up to the faucet. Boxes and unpacked groceries take up much of the already too small kitchen. I work on it a little each day, but it's never enough to make much of a dent. I think I've cleaned out the sink once or twice, but that's it.
Aside from feeling like I never get anything done (except for checking Facebook several times a day; it's bordering on addiction) the biggest challenge is balancing a newborn and a two-year-old. Amelia demands a lot of attention. She can often be heard saying "I want you" or "I want snuggle on couch". She's slowly learning to share.
She's fairly patient during the daytime in understanding when I have to help Mack, but at night she's ready to send him out into the snow and have her Mama to herself.
She hasn't slept through the night a single time since Mack came home. At least once a night while I'm up nursing Mackay, Amelia wakes up crying and comes into the living room. Once she sees that I can't hold her all by herself, she throws herself on the floor kicking and screaming. It's super fun!
The adjustment has been a little easier for Dan, although he says our house suddenly got very small. When Amelia was born, it was a lot easier than when we had Lily, I think because we were experienced and we didn't freak out about everything. But it was kind of a shock to go back to the needy newborn stage. This time around, Dan says it just feels like more of the same. We're essentially used to getting up at night and having a really high maintenence child. And to be honest, Mack seems like a piece of cake compared to Amelia right now!
For the most part, Lily has been a huge help and a great big sister. The only problem is that the girls have been fighting a lot more since Mack arrived. Amelia's at that age where she only wants something if someone else has it, so there's always arguments about who has what toy or who's sitting in what chair. And Lily tends to pester (think Bill Cosby "Will you stop touching me!") Amelia which really ticks her off. There's been a lot of screaming from Amelia and a lot of "She always gets what she wants" from Lily. The fighting has begun to taper off in the last few days, though.
I vacillate between being glad when Lily's gone at school because there's no fighting and being glad when she gets home because she's a huge help with the baby. Both Dan and I have been amazed at how she can sit and hold Mackay for long periods of time (especially if there's a movie on). Usually she's the kid that can't stay still for two seconds.
Lily and Mackay, 4 days old, at Grammie's house.
Lily and Mackay, 5 days old, on his first day home in Cokeville.
His chin and cheeks were still chapped from learning to nurse.
Amelia saw all the pictures being taken of Lily and Mackay and she was like, "See me?!" She kept stepping in front of the camera and cheesing in her princess crown.
Amelia and Mackay, 9 days old. She is liking Mackay more and more everyday. At first she would hold him once or twice a day for less than a minute and then basically pay no attention to him at all for the rest of the day. She's progressed from "I hold it" to "I hold him" and when I took this picture she said, "I Sissy!" She likes to pet his head, is very vigilant about making sure his binky is always near, and she says "My baby" all the time.
When Mack was nine days old I realized that the poor kid should probably get a bath. I was going to wash him in the kitchen sink, but it was full of dirty dishes so I decided to just put him in with the girls. He loved the warm water and was totally content (please try to ignore the fact that he's searching for his next meal). Lily thought it was so cool to hold him in the bath and Amelia was amused by being in charge of the washcloth.
Dan has been really great about making sure that the girls get some personal attention and fun activities while I am staying out of the cold with the baby. He built a snow cave for Lily in our front yard last week.
And who can resist a good ol' sled pull down the country road?
Three kids is an adjustment, but we'll be in a good groove soon. And there are still times when the stars align and everyone gets along.