My Week of Staying at Home

  If you’ve been reading this blog any at all, since the baby arrived, then you know that I am currently pretty stressed out.  That’s right.  Life is giving me a good ol’ fashioned butt whoopin’!
   We have hired a little help.  We have cut back on activities.  We’ve made list after list.  You name it, we’ve probably tried it.  Yet we are still just treading water over here.
   So I decided that this week I am focusing on the household, while trying to cut out all other distractions, by simply staying home, just for a week.   
   I’ve been sticking to that, but raising kids…..well, it is what it is.
End of Monday:  laundry still behind, despite having done about 4 loads, most of the children were bathed, everyone was well fed,  Oh!  and I squeezed in an at home workout:  Lindsey Brin’s postnatal boot camp.  I even set aside about 3 bags of stuff to donate to charity–always exciting.
  Tuesday proved to be much tougher.  Dan had preschool, and John David and I set out to conquer “errand day”.  We made it to two stores:  Target for groceries and a consignment store for a baby bouncy thing and two more sleepers for JD.
The best thing about buying used:  You don’t have to put it together!!!!!  Love!
  After spending all day running errands, I was feeling super depressed when at 2:30pm I had not even finished the “morning chores”.  The kitchen was covered in Target bags, the dishwasher remained full of clean dishes, and no clothes had been washed.  I also had no plan for supper.
……enter Megan and Cara!
  Remember when I said that I hired helpers?  Two days per week, these precious souls that we call Megan and Cara come to my house, after they get out of school.  They keep Dan and JD while I get to pick up Joshua and Caleb (with no babies!).  Then I get to take the big boys to the park and visit with my friends, while the boys play with their friends.  It’s wonderful!
  When I leave the house, both babies are usually asleep.  By the time I get back, Megan is usually holding an awake John David.  
  Cara asked me a few weeks back if she could cook dinner for us, during the time that the kids don’t need her.  (Dan usually naps pretty late!)  So…..believe it or not….Cara cooks our dinner, two days/week.  
  I know, I sound so ridiculously spoiled, don’t I?
  Once all the babies wake up, I pile all four kiddos into the car and we take our helpers home.  It’s usually just two hours of help, but it’s pretty awesome.  It may be one of the best ideas I ever had.
  Today the girls even helped me with a little PTA project.  I like helping at the boys’ school, but obviously I don’t really belong in an elementary school, with my two little tag-alongs.  I was excited to find a project I could help with from the comfort of my own home:  Box Tops!
   I basically just signed up to help trim, sort, and count Box Tops once every month or so.  Did you know that in order to send in your Box Tops, they must be completely trimmed on the dotted lines?  
Tops must be cut on the dotted lines, as shown on the left.  All tops turned in like the one on the right are still very helpful, but your PTA’s Box Top lady will have to go through and trim them all for you…..just a little helpful hint.  By the way, grandparents, if you’d like to send us Box Tops, we’d be happy to receive them.  : )
  I would like to take a second to say THANK YOU for all the prayers.  Alan told me this morning that DaddyO said he was praying for me today, and that means so much to us.  
   This is a season of life when I’ve really had to re-learn the importance of relying on God.  I always think of “relying on God to get through” as something you do in the face of great trauma, like the death of a loved one, or cancer, or anything big like that.  I’m bad to not apply that principle to my regular life, because regular life just isn’t always as challenging as it is right now.  (Thank goodness for that!)  Lately I’m learning that I really cannot just handle it all on my own.  I need God!  
   That may sound weird to some of you, and if it does, I challenge you that if you have a problem that’s bigger than you can handle, pray for Him to handle it for you! 
 Oh, and one more thing!  Hillary Clinton was right.  (And you know I’m no liberal).  It really does take a village!  I’ve needed my friends and family so much this year.  It’s been downright humbling, and yet it’s been a blessing at the same time.  I just love you all so stinkin’ much!!!  
  People often ask me which baby transition is the hardest– going to 1, 2, 3, or 4.  I keep pondering this and I’ve decided that the answer is “yes!”  All of them are the hardest at the time!  I don’t really remember how hard 1 and 2 were, though I remember 3 was pretty rough.  I think they are all such a major life transition that one isn’t necessarily way harder than the next.  Handling one baby now may be a vacation, but when it was just the one everything was new, and I was flying by the seat of my pants, and it was hard!
  Then when the second came along, I had to learn how to deal with that overwhelming both-babies-need-me-right- this- second- and- I- only- have- two- hands- feeling.  So hard!
  Then when the third came, we were juggling Joshua’s sports, Caleb’s mischief, and readjusting to babies.
  Then with four–oh where to begin!
  My friend, Yoga Monica, recently sent me one of those motivational exercise pictures that reads, “That which does not challenge you does not change you.”  She meant it about the tough work-out she was giving me, but I think it applies to everything.  I am being seriously challenged, but you know what?  It really is changing me, and I say that’s a darn good thing!


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