May 29, 2009


Last night I realized that my house looks like an infant merchandising store threw up on it.

As I picked up a {very} little before bed {at 8:00 p.m.}, I found no fewer than six burp cloths strewn about the house. Three hair bows, five blankets. A million binkies. Several tiny dirty diapers {the kind that don't stink}. A car seat here, a bouncy chair there...all mixed in with a healthy dose of dirty dishes, socks, towels, and sneakers. The house definitely has the lived-in look.

Normally, this sort of thing would drive me insane. But I've decided to go into the business of celebrating life's little victories. I'm embracing the chaos, trying to do what I can, and letting the rest go. I have a tiny baby, a bigger baby, and two active boys. Instead of shlumping around in survival mode, I'm choosing to be happy with this stage. It will pass, and along with it, Lexi's infanthood. She's too cute to miss out on.

So here's the plan. {This is a plan without a theme, a chart, a plastic bin, and an idea jar. It's just your basic, garden-variety plan. Please don't make Superwoman comments. They just won't be true.}

Showering every day garners me one giant pat on the back. {Making sure everyone else gets clean: two pats.} Weathering a full-blown toddler tantrum over goldfish crackers -- without breaking a sweat -- earns a gold star for my forehead. Not completely losing my composure over unimportant things as I ride the hormonal roller coaster: chocolate.

And so it goes from hour to hour. There are plenty of ups and downs as this fatigue-ridden Mommy learns to navigate parental waters with four children {even when Daddy's home for a week}. But I'm finding that focusing on the good things helps me.

This afternoon one victory made me especially happy: the Littles and I completed a lovely walk around the neighborhood.

It was a spur-of-the-moment thing; five minutes after the idea entered my head, we hit the road. Unlike the Series of Unfortunate Events that ruled our last walking experience, this excursion was awesome. It wasn't completely hassle-free, but the fresh air, brisk pace, and storm-is-comin' breeze helped blow away a few of the day's frustrations. Don't let this sunshiny post deceive you; this day had many frustrations.

But as I sit here tonight, at the end of this long, long day, I'm thinking of the things that went well instead of those that went badly. I swept the floor, survived two medical appointments, made an important decision, organized the purse-formerly-known-as-the-black-hole, and washed and dried four loads of laundry. I played with my babies, mostly didn't yell at the kids, enjoyed the sunshine, and tried hard to nap. Maybe mopping the floor and folding all that laundry can be tomorrow's victories, but if they aren't, I'll find something else to celebrate.
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