Thursday, April 23, 2015

Our new normal...

Bryan went back to work at the fire department today, after a beautiful, wonderful, 7 weeks off on paternity leave. While we surely would have survived without him being off this long, it has been such a blessing to have him home during this transition. I am so thankful for his choices, and that he makes our family such a priority. 

During this past seven weeks, we have been adjusting to our new normal as a family of six. Life with a baby changes things. Very quickly, remembering the diaper bag, and the bottle and the bibs, and the blanket becomes second nature. After a while, you actually get used to waking up in the middle of the night. And soon enough, grocery shopping with four kids becomes no big deal. 

Tuesday evening after dinner, we packed up the kids and the stroller and the dog, and went for a beautiful sunset walk along the river.

This one is smiling...

...and this one is smiling...

...but this one is "I can't smile, I'm too tough" (in her backwards sneakers).

You can't really see it, but Bryan was smiling too. 

A good bit of the time, Lilly preferred walking and holding hands with Taite at the same time. "He likes it when I hold his hand." She is fairly prone to clumsiness and tends to walk into the stroller, so this wasn't the best idea, but I love her heart. 

It was a beautiful evening.

Here's a random story... Yesterday, I fed Taite, and then laid him down on the floor to play with his toys. A few minutes later, I walked past, and he wasn't there. My eyes quickly darted to the swing in the living room. No baby. "Where's Taite?" The bouncy seat in the kitchen, no baby. "Guys! Where's Taite?" The high chair in the dining room, no baby.  A feeling of panic came over me. "Bella! Where is Taite??"  "Right here Mama, he was gettin' fussy." And my Little Mama continued on, working on her history lesson...

I can not even put words to the feelings that I have when I watch my bigs love on our baby. I knew they would be wonderful big siblings. I knew they would love him. I knew that would want to help take care of him. I knew they would talk silly to him when he fusses, and I knew they would hold his hand. But when I actually see them loving him, and loving him so well, they just make me so proud.

And yesterday afternoon, my sweet friend Sara and her family stopped by for a little visit. It was the first time for us to meet each other's sons, so that was special. The kids enjoyed playing together, and we enjoyed catching up. And just before we all ran out the door (the girls had to get to gymnastics class), we sat the kids down and snapped this picture. What a bunch of cuties.

Today was the official first day in our new normal routine. It was a slow and easy going day, and it was nice. We did school in the morning, a trip to BJ's after lunch, played outside with Tortuga the turtle, and caught lizards and tadpoles... Even though we are missing Bryan, all is well on the home front.

As it turns out, the new normal is not that much different from the old normal. We spend time together, we play outside, we love each other. It's life, and it is so good.

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