So here we are, Tuesday, August 16. Four weeks ago today we met Mikey and became a family of five. I'm not going to sugar coat it one bit- the last four weeks have been hard, exhausting, full of time outs, plenty of "no" or "stop that" and challenging. But you know what else they've been? Full of love, snuggles, laughter, dance parties, lots of kisses on Miley's head, and a whole new level of happiness.
As any parent knows, parenthood often times feels a bit like you're an emotional basket case. As in, one second you are so angry or frustrated with your child(ren) and the next second they do something so cute (or they are sleeping- ha!) and you just stare at them holding back tears because you love them so much. Well I really think welcoming a new baby into your family, no matter if it is your first or fifth, brings about those up and down emotions on a daily basis. One second I'm sitting here thinking "this is pure chaos" and the next I'm staring at our kids and thinking "oh my gosh we are so lucky and I love these kids so much".
Mikey has been just the best. I mean, he's a typical newborn. Eat, sleep, poop, cry. Oh and he grunts a lot. Maddie likes to tell everyone "Mikey is loud" because apparently she's heard that one too many times from our mouths. Haha. But after moving him to his own room after week 1, I have to say, it's been so much better. I feel like that move was so good mentally for me. I like that he was safe in his crib (from other kids and dog), I could watch and hear him on the monitor at night (but not have to stare at him like I was doing) but yet he is a quick walk away when he needs me.
I bought the dock-a-tot and he's been sleeping in that and I'm not going to say it's a miracle worker, but the kid usually has a 5 to 6 hour stretch at night At some point (usually when he first goes down). So I'll take that any day (if could just make myself go to bed immediately when I put him down- oh and make my boobs not wake me up!)...then he has been sleeping around 2-3 hours. Obviously more sleep would be nice but he's a newborn, it's my job to feed him and care for him and snuggle him and I'll take it because let's be honest- pretty soon he won't need me that often. It goes by way too fast.
As for Charlie and Maddie!? They have been good and are obsessed with Mikey. Sometimes not so nice to their parents (ha!) or each other, but at least they love him! Maddie threw us quite the loop by deciding she was going to climb out of her crib the other night- lets just say...all Jimmy and I could do was laugh, because typical life as a parent- just as we were getting ok at the whole bedtime routine with 3 (it's still insane) and then this. She's attempted escape one more time (the next night), but I caught her on the camera and was able to stop her before she got out again. We are trying to figure out what to do. We have a bedroom set for her to use, but man oh man I was hoping she'd be like her brother and be content in her crib until around 3 (because lord knows the last thing I need right now is one more kid able to come poke me in the face at midnight!!). We are waiting it out to see if she's still planning escape again until we make the final decision!
As for the challenges of three kids?? Someone always seems to be upset! Ha! Like if it's not one, it's one of the other two that is upset about something!! However, the older kids are harder to manage than the baby for the most part! Jimmy has been an absolute ROCK STAR and savior and amazing dad. He jokes that for now Charlie and Maddie are his and Mikey is mine (making comments as we head out to the car "I've got my kids" and then winks at me), but he's amazing and I know it's hard on him too because 2 and 4 year olds are no joke.
I've gotten really good at holding Mikey and doing lots! I can cook, change laundry, clean, discipline, etc. I cannot- put on eyeliner, go to the bathroom, get dressed while holding him- so I have my limitations :)
Overall, I'm for sure not feeling as exhausted or sleep deprived as I was with either of the other two kids- I'm guessing it might just be because I'm used to little sleep? No idea, but I'll take it! I try to get in a nap on the weekdays when the older kids are at school and sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I'm taking it easy on my to do list and enjoying my snuggles and baby loving while in can. Because I keep reminding myself as I get my time hop pictures from 2 and 4 years ago of my little baby Maddie and Charlie just how FAST the time goes and Mikey is going to grow and change in no time!
Cheers to four weeks of surviving and loving it as a family of five!