I've been a mother of four for four weeks, so I'm pretty much a pro at this by now....just kidding. I'm still floundering and trying to fill everyone's needs, and finding it hopelessly impossible to do so. I keep telling everyone who asks that Peter has taken this transition to be the hardest, but in all honesty, he's probably just my emotional mirror. I'm sure I'm the one with issues. :)
We've been giving the boys allowance ($1 for each year, based on their age) for a little while now, and I've been wondering if Peter is even old enough. He's always in a rush to buy something, anything with his money, even though I try to help him understand what saving is. The other day I finally got the inspiration to take a break from cleaning and play "store" with him, and helped him set up all his imaginative Lego sets with price tags affixed. I think buying stuff is more a game to him right now anyways. My favorite was his little interpretation of "Peter and the Wolf," where Peter is up in a tree and a Lego "wolf" (which is really a Star Wars Hoth creature) is hanging by its' tail. This is not that set; I'll have to get a picture of it.
Benjamin continues to be wonderful with Lydia. He's still a boy of course, and doesn't seem to know how to console her when I'm busy making dinner and she just wants to be held. He usually just gives up or ignores her crying altogether. But he does have moments of sweetness - usually when she's calm and alert and he can play with her.
Ironically, I've found it easier to attempt outings with all four of the kids rather than just the three youngest. I think that is where Benjamin's strength really lies, in helping me keep it all together with Peter and Nora. As challenging as it can be to have one school-aged child, one preschooler, and two at home, it's also really nice to have at least one who is a bit more responsible.
This is what happens when I try to get a picture with all my kids. I got two kids looking at the camera! I was trying to have them lay flat to get a sense for their different sizes, but arms and legs were flailing and I had to snap a picture quick before my newborn got clobbered.
Nora continues to be incredibly sweet with Lydia, and is only just starting to show mild signs of displacement. Out of necessity, she shares her bedtime stories with the baby, who is routinely awake during this time and refuses to be put down. Nora finally told me one day as I was reading to her over Lydia's fussing that "she's annoying me!" We've tried to be a little more flexible since then, and Peter has his story time with Dad a little later- after Nora's in bed.
Benjamin was taking pictures the other night, and snapped this one of me and Lydia. It pretty well captures her personality at this age. She loves being held facing out when I'm walking around, but when I'm sitting, she wants me to be engaged and focused on her. I haven't noticed any real smiles yet, but she does have a happy expression in her eyes.
I continue to feel very blessed. It's amazing that your heart can expand time and again to love another person so much. I hope my kids will somehow know how much I love them, even if I can't give as much focus and energy on each of them as I wish I could.
We just had Lydia's newborn pictures taken this afternoon, and this is the first one I got back. I never did this with any of my other kids, but it will be nice to have a few nice photos to remember this fleeting stage. She's changed so much already! Every time I wash Lydia's hair, it seems a little lighter and maybe even a little redder, especially around the root line. When she's out in the sun, there's no question that there's red in her hair. I guess time will tell...