We’ve just pushed through four suffocatingly intense weeks. In mid-February I flew to Illinois with Josie for a whirlwind househunting trip while the Man stayed home with the older three. After my return we spent increasingly long days preparing our house for market with contractors, DIY repairs, decluttering, and endless games of “furniture tetris” while simultaneously preparing to close on our new home in Illinois, doing regular work, surviving ICU call, and caring for our home and kids as usual. This Tuesday we closed on our new home. This Thursday the realtors came to take listing photos of our home; it should hit the market tonight. We could not have done it without a great deal of help from family, friends, and babysitters! While maintaining a house for showings with four small children underfoot is no joke we’re breathing a big sigh of relief at crossing the first hurdle and achieving maintenance level.
Last night for the first time in many days we didn’t do any home buying or selling tasks, just relaxed, took a breath, and got a good night’s sleep. This morning after speech and feeding therapy and a quick hair fix we took all the kids to the park for the first time in weeks.
(Good luck taking a photo of four non-synchronized kids swinging together…every other shot amputated part of at least one child).
With four kids in a 34 month span someone’s always hitting a new milestone.
- Josie (8 months) rode in a park swing for the first time and loooved it. She gave us lots of happy baby chortles every time she swooped back for more pushes and belly tickles.
- Jenny (21 months, basically 18 months adjusted for prematurity) hiked on her own instead of riding in the carrier for the first time. She also pushed the stroller for the first time (juuuuust reaching while walking on her tiptoes), threw rocks in the stream with the big kids for the first time, and enjoyed (instead of tolerating/whimpering to escape) the swings and slide for the first time.
- Annie (3) rode in a “big kid” swing for the first time. She also played with another little girl at the park in an age-appropriate way, a big achievement for a kid with anxiety issues and speech and social delays. We were so happy to see her cheerfully engaging with a peer other than her siblings!
- Jack (3) also rode in a “big kid” swing, and carefully helped Jenny hike the trail by holding her hand.
In the afternoon the Man stayed home with the babies while I took the twins on a run to preschooler Disneyland (aka the hardware store). Is there anything better than a row of 20 tractors when you’re three?
This spring holds many more challenges – showing our house, minor surgery for one child, moving cross country, settling into a new area, etc. – but we were so grateful for a beautiful day of refreshing family time!