Baby boy is almost 2 months old, so it feels like time for an update. I've started this post a million times but each time I have been predictably distracted. The baby has cried, big sister has tripped, or the three oldest have wanted stories or snacks or just attention. I can honestly say I'm happy for all the distractions. I was only able to blog so much near the end of pregnancy because I felt too big to move, or too exhausted to do anything of substance. We had the TV on almost constantly to entertain the kids, but I wasn't engaging with them as much as I would have liked to.
So where are we almost two months later? The first thing to note is that we didn't just turn off the TV. We took it out of the room completely. We disassembled the TV stand and put the whole mess of stuff in the basement. It has not been put together yet. We never go in the basement but our plan is to fix it up and make it more kid friendly as a cool retreat on this hot summers days. Along with the business of taking the TV out of our living room we took the leap to finally redecorate the living room. We painted over the dark orange (that I truly hated, beyond words) with an inviting blue that made the whole room feel bigger and brighter. We bought some new photo frames and put them up on the wall and hung on the opposite wall beautiful frames with all five kids' names, birth weight and length, birthdays and times. The room really feels like it's ours. We also got an ottoman and need toy bins for storage. We no longer have piles of toys all over the floor (well, when they're put away anyway!). Since we're spending a lot of time in the living room while I feed the baby it feels good to have it feel like our own. It has inspired us to get to work on the other rooms. We can't wait to tear up the wretched reeking carpet upstairs.
As for baby boy, he is doing beautifully. He's still growing well from what I can tell. He's feeding like a champ, sleeping at night, and just generally being a joy. He started to smile a week or so ago and I can confirm that no matter how many babies we have, there's something about those toothless grins that make my heart grow another size or two. I could spend my whole day staring at the little man trying to make him laugh and smile. The big kids are completely in love with him too, and when he's asleep in his playpen I often find a little collection of kids craning to watch his sweet, slow breaths. This, of course, tends to have the affect of waking him up, but I don't have the heart to be upset (most days) as I know they are all SO in love with him. Seeing how much they treasure him makes me love all of them even more. I adore seeing my kids together.
Speaking of the big kids, we've had a rough couple of weeks. One after another the kids have gotten sick. First the biggest girl. We discovered she was sick when she suddenly had a fever at Church, followed by her getting sick on the beach the same day. After that came biggest boy a few days later, who only got sick the one time (of course in his bed). Next was middle boy who never actually upset his stomach, but has looked pale and slightly green for the better part of a week. Lastly was baby girl, who had the good sense to wait for a visit with her grandparents to projectile vomit several times in the course of a half hour. So glad we had blueberry smoothies for dessert. It all seemed more festive and colourful. Today we're having what I hope is a recovery day. Middle child still seems out of sorts, but overall they're all feeling much better. I can't wait to get out of the house to smell some fresh air. I have a little bit of catch-up to do with the housework, but I don't mind as I'd do all the housework in the world to have my babes all better. Sweet Hubby is battling the flu now, but like the trooper I know him to be he's toughing it out at work. Saintliness in all things.
As for myself, I'm finally feeling much more myself. I have my energy back and I love that I can spend the better part of the day reading, playing, and generally experiencing my kids' day without the cloud of exhaustion. I've lost more weight than I thought possible in such a short time, which is giving me back my old stamina. I feel blessed, joyful, energetic and, most of all, grateful. If I had known how easy and beautiful 5 kids would be, I would have run full tilt towards it.