We have been a family of seven for more than a week now. Overall, I'd say we are doing pretty well. This is due in large part to my mom's presence. She cooks and cleans and does laundry and entertains the kids, so I can just focus on feeding Kate and taking naps. It's quite a lovely arrangement, and I will enjoy every second until she leaves on Thursday morning. My other visits with my mom this year happened when I was too sick to function and during Women's Conference, when I felt a little better but was pretty limited physically. It's pretty ironic that I'm feeling better at a week postpartum than I have for nine months!
The kids are adjusting reasonably well. Zach asks to hold Kate most frequently. He just stares at her when she is in his arms. Zach's turns holding Kate are probably shorter than he'd like, because his requests kick off the Domino effect with his siblings and none of them are very patient. Zach is playing soccer two nights a week and on Saturday mornings. He may have a career as a keeper.
Tyler also adores his little sister and enjoys his time holding her. Tyler is super affectionate with both of us, giving me spontaneous hugs several times a day and frequently kissing Kate's head. Of all the children, I think he is the most relieved to see his mama returning to full function. Tyler is also playing soccer two evenings per week (different nights, different park than Zach) and is sporting some wicked road rash from a bicycle crash.
Gavin's personality has been supercharged by his participation in preschool. He is extremely expressive right now, telling stories about his day, sharing his opinions, and announcing at random intervals (but especially at dinner) that "It's MY turn to talk!" Gavin has said some amazing prayers lately, and constantly cracks us up with his three-year-old chatter. He has suddenly stopped wetting the bed during nap time, which is a fantastic milestone he is very proud of. A few weeks ago he was having crazy-frequent potty accidents, so I am especially thrilled with his achievement.
Lexi continues to struggle a bit. Today was especially hard; she was totally sideways and I could not figure out how to help her. A walk with Granny around the block and an outing to Target with me made her happy for a while, but not for long. Luckily there are a few happy periods interspersed with the tantrums. She'll come around...right? Lexi is so delightful when she chooses to be...
And of course, Kate is adorable. She's still pretty sleepy, often so sleepy that she doesn't quite want to finish a meal. During her first night home she really hated the port-a-crib, so for now she's sleeping on a little foam wedge in our bed. This arrangement worked well with Lexi, but I'm still hoping to move her into her own bed within a week or two.
Here's a photo taken after Kate's first sponge bath at home. Clearly, she wasn't thrilled. Kate lost her umbilical stump today, and I thought a tub bath might be more to her liking, but she hated that even more. The kids were a bit alarmed at the screaming; Kate never cries! She's such a sweet, content little baby.
I've vowed that our fifth baby won't be any less photographed than our other kids, but I'm already finding that taking pictures is the last thing on my mind. Nevertheless, here a couple of cute shots from Kate's first week.
As for me, this is probably the best postpartum recovery I've ever had. It's such a relief to feel better--and to have my healthy, happy baby here--that the rest just doesn't matter. Between Garry and my mom, I've got lots of help at home. I'm getting enough sleep (for this time of life, anyway). And my ankles are back. What more can I ask for?