In parenthood, mornings have always been a crazy haze of activity. After Kane (our first) was born, once he was 6 weeks old, I would set out each weekday morning to my mom's house. She had a studio there and we were busy trying to create a custom design jewelry business. Kane would nap there and play, but as he got older, splitting my time with working and mommyhood wasn't working. When he was 2 years old, we put the business on hold, and there it has stayed. My mornings with Kane were blissful during the 3 years that followed. He would rise at 6am every morning. He would snuggle in beside me and watch Sesame Street (the only thing on at that hour). We would get up at about 7am and start our day. We had only one car at that time, and luckily I had a wonderful neighbor friend that only had one car also. So we were carless, but we had our legs. We walked everywhere with our kiddos. We loved the library storytime, little trips to the grocer, walks to the nearby parks or to the post office. On a rare day that one of us had the car, we would go to the zoo. During those happy early years, Eric and I were also enduring an obvious lack of fertility. It took 3 years to identify a tumor the size of a plastic pin-head inside my pituitary gland that was inhibiting ovulation. I was able to take a medication for 30 days to shrink the tumor, and bam! within one cycle I was pregnant. We finally had an answer and a new little life on the way.
Gage joined us when Kane was 5. By that time, Kane was in preschool. No more leisurely mornings. It was the beginning of school mornings. Getting up, making breakfast, praying there are clean clothes for the kids to wear, and rejoicing when they are to school on time. The weekends are just as early, but praise God we have Saturdays to linger. Sunday we practice the "getting everybody out of the house on time" routine and again rejoice at making it to church on time.
I have very fond memories of our evenings with Kane and Gage. After dinner, Kane and Eric would play together and I would get Gage ready for bed. At 7pm each night Gage and I would retreat to his nursery. I had a comfy chair and ottoman, and we would settle in for one last feeding and a snuggle before he laid down for the night. I remember the soft and soothing light of his room, as we would spend those moments together. It was so cozy and peaceful. That time remains one of my fondest parenting memories. When it was time for Kane to settle in for the night, there were lots of books, and cuddling, and kisses goodnight. There was always a dinosaur book and his rainbow blankie tucked in beside him.
I remember always grocery shopping at night during these early years. A little alone time to walk the aisles slowly, a little quiet.
When Gage was a year old, we decided to see if the meds I took previously would work a second time. Again, it only took one cycle and we were blessed with pregnancy #3.
When Kane was 7 and Gage was nearly 2, Rafe joined us, and a month later Anya was born (and joined us through adoption). My mornings were in for a major change. Honestly, it's good that I am writing this down, because that first year with those babies was a total blur. I can remember being totally sleep deprived. Eric would leave @ 6am, and I can remember like clockwork they would wake up just as he was out the door. I would manage to feed both of them. Rafe at the breast, Anya breastmilk from a bottle, and they would fall back to sleep. I had until 9am, when they would wake. I would tiptoe down stairs to the kitchen. I remember trying to be so quiet. Even making coffee is noisy in our little house. Kane and Gage were beginning to stir. I would usher them way downstairs to the family room, feed them a granola bar and a banana, and turn on a cartoon. If I could accomplish this without waking Rafe and Anya, I was giddy. Kane was now in 1st grade. We were so blessed that year to have his bus pick him up right in front of our house. Soon after he would leave, Rafe and Anya would usually wake up hungry and very wet. I managed to get everybody settled in the family room, and that's where we spent our days. We had created a safe little world where I could manage 3 babies under 3 years old. That room was my world for an entire year. There were comfy couches for nursing, a TV and computer, my laundry room, and lots of books and toys. We created a little fenced play area outside the door, so Gage could play out there and be safe. The only time I left that room was to go to the bathroom, go to the kitchen, and go to sleep. At night, Eric and I each took a baby. I would get up with Rafe and he would get up with Anya. Anya started sleeping through the night way before Rafe. Eric lucked out, which was good, he needed to NOT fall asleep at his desk at work. :~)
The fist time I ventured out alone with the 4 kids was comical. It was early December, which meant Anya was 1 month old and Rafe was 2 months old. Kane had the day off from school. I managed to get everybody out the door. The babies were fed and diapered before we left. I was feeling victorious and terrified. I decided to go through the Starbuck's drive thru and treat myself. Rafe and Anya started wailing, and I realized it was time for them to eat again and we weren't even 2 miles from home. It just took so long to do everything. I sat in the back of my Expedition and fed Rafe, while Kane held Anya's bottle, and Gage munched on a cookie. At that point, I realized that everything was just going to take longer than expected, and to always expect that. I needed to relax, and be ready to go with the flow. It was a good lesson to learn for Mrs. Structured and Organized.
I continued to get accustomed to life. I began to feel quite efficient in getting us where we needed to go. We ventured out more as time went by.
I remember being terrified as Summer break approached. How in the world was I going to entertain 4 kids all summer? It ended up being great. Kane was just happy to be outside playing and entertaining his little siblings. We went a few places now and then. I had a list of places I could go that were safe and contained, where I could manage not to lose a kid. Rafe and Anya happily rode around in their double stroller and Gage always had to hold my hand. I feel like we spent a lot of time at Target. Very strange. My mom was often there to help me navigate our outings. Bless her. Eric's mom would take Kane and Gage for overnighter's to give us a little break. Bless her. Those days were so busy. A different busy than we are today. For sure.
to be continued.........
Next up: Gage's adventures. (it's a good one)
Have a blessed day, Tami