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Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Very Boring Update, with no pictures

So I thought that I was very clever.  After having four children, I felt that I deserved to be clever - getting four children successfully through babyhood alive and sleeping through the night within three months of their birth would tend to make anyone feel clever.

But I was wrong.  I wasn't clever, I was just given four children that respond easily to a methodical approach.

And now I have a fifth.  That's all we need to say on the subject.  I have no doubt that in time she too will buckle under my methodical methods, but she's going to take a lot more method than the other ones did.  But in the end I will win, because I'm bigger and more patient and have logic and she's only a baby.  But it is really quite amazing how much a little tiny baby with no malice, agenda, or logic can really drive you crazy sometimes.

The rest of this blog is just an update with no real wit or entertainment value, just something to keep the family updated.

We started school two weeks ago because really, there wasn't much else to do.  We had to be stuck in the apartment anyway because of a particularly small member of the family who requires inordinate amounts of time to be soothed to sleep, and so I figured I might as well make everyone do school.

By 'everyone' I mean Kathleen.  She has moved to the next level for math, which is self-directed so all I do with her is grammar lessons and history.  So when I say I 'started school,' what I really mean was I made Kathleen start school.  The only other school I'm involved in is an hour of Sophia's reading lesson every day, which can thankfully be done from a rocking chair.

I'm very grateful that Brandon is in language training right now because if he wasn't, we'd be eating a lot of cold cereal for dinner.  Instead he follows my cooking instructions as I sit in the rocking chair convincing Eleanor that yes, being tired means that she should go to sleep.  I feel sorry for him as he has turned into a single parent of the four other children.

And that's all I've got.  My life feels somewhat like Groundhog Day right now.  Time to go pick up the screaming baby.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Happy Birthday, Sophia

It's a good thing that Sophia has recently decided to become remarkably even-tempered (most days, anyway) because her birthday this year wasn't quite as fun as birthdays usually are.

I really did plan to give her a fun birthday activity.  I did some research online, found a park that looked promising - a lake, paddle boats, playground, carousel, and mini-golf - and even planned a picnic.  When we got there we decided to walk around the lake.  "You do know," I told Brandon, "that according to what I read, this trail is 4 miles long."

"Four miles?!  There's no way the lake is four miles around."

It turns out that the path didn't just go around the lake.  Halfway through we found ourselves in the middle of a neighborhood, walking past a school to find the other side of a trail that had dumped us out into suburbia.  When I asked Sophia if she had had a nice walk, she blithely replied, "Yes, very nice," before stopping, thinking and then continuing, "well, maybe not so nice.  But this playground is nice."

This morning, after making coffeecake muffins, scrambled eggs, and bacon followed by chocolate cupcakes, Brandon and I got in the shower.  "Don't come into the room and get us unless someone is bleeding.  A lot."  Eleanor was asleep in the room, and I didn't want a repeat of last week's stegosaurus attack by Joseph.  Brandon got out of the shower first and went to check on the children.

Edwin was hiding in his room because, according to the girls, he had stuck a plastic bead up his nose.  Brandon was livid, as Edwin had had a pomegranate aril stuck up his nose in Baku and so should have known to stay far away from foreign objects that could get stuck up noses.  Like plastic beads.

So I took everyone to church and Brandon and Edwin went to Urgent Care.  About ten minutes into Sunday school Brandon called to tell me to pull everyone out from class so he could take us home.  Evidently the Urgent Care doctors couldn't get the bead out and he was going to have to make a trip to the ER.

Thankfully the wait time was short and both made it home for dinner - eggs benedict, asparagus, and salad - before cupcakes and presents.

And the presents were evidently good enough to make the cupcake less than interesting to either Sophia or Kathleen.  Then everyone went to bed.  

Hopefully we can do better next year.  Of course, that's what I said last year, too.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

For Mother's Day this year, Eleanor started the gift-giving early.  She waited until 4:00 to wake me up.  To those of you who haven't had a newborn baby, that might not seem like much of a gift.  But I was tremendously happy to have over five hours of continuous sleep.

A few hours later Brandon got out of bed and I went back to sleep.  A few hours after that, I had breakfast in bed: crepes, fresh whipped cream, berries, nutella, and créme anglaise.  Then in church all of the ladies were given Cadbury chocolate bars.  

Then after dinner (BLTs, french fries, and pineapple), the children brought out a card and cookies they had picked out for me.  They couldn't hide the flowers until this evening, so the flowers were given yesterday.

So I think I can say that I had a very pleasant Mother's Day.  But of all of the gifts, my favorite gift of all was the five beautiful children that have made me a mother.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Welcome, Baby Eleanor!

Just in case any of you were wondering, we did finally have a baby.  It didn't work exactly according to plan, but we still had a baby all the same.  I did end up having to call in plan B (thank you, Aunt Kathleen!) because I actually went into labor all by myself.  Unfortunately, it was before Brandon's mother came into town, so my wonderful aunt got to make a very early morning drive from Maryland to Falls Church to come and watch the children for five or six hours.

Despite getting things started a little earlier than the plan called for, I still had to have a little help from my good friend, pitocin, before Eleanor decided to show up around five.  And then she had a little help from the vacuum extractor and a L&D nurse jumping on my abdomen to loose a stuck shoulder.  Not exactly what I was expecting from a fifth delivery (what happened to having them walk out themselves?), but as in all good stories, all's well that ends well.  I have decided that having 8 pound, 2 oz babies is maybe a little too much of a good thing for me.

We came home yesterday to great excitement and Eleanor was immediately mobbed by all of her siblings.

Edwin gave her a truck to play with, Joseph covered her with his blanket, and Kathleen and Sophia finally settled on taking turns holding her individually and then sharing her.  Eleanor was non-plussed.

I think that if she survives the love and attention, Eleanor will be a much-adored baby.

I don't think I'm going to make my fortune being a baby photographer.

So far Eleanor has been exhibiting very typical baby behavior, waking up every half hour last night and making sure that Brandon and I can revel in the full glory of newborn-induced sleep deprivation.

But thankfully I've done this four times before and have a very vague memory that eventually I will get a full night's sleep again, even if I'm not sure when that will happen.

But until then, I'll just enjoy having a healthy, normal, lovely baby girl for everyone to love and adore.  I guess I can't complain.