All I can say is wow. About two years ago I wrote this blog post, Then There Were Two, after Charlie was born. He and baby Evelyn are two years and one week apart. So much for my, “I’m never doing another summer pregnancy” ultimatum I made when I was pregnant with Charlie. God has a sense of humor.
Evelyn has been snuggled non stop and kissed a thousand times in the last three weeks, as any newborn should be. As we welcome the final member to our family and adjust to life with three young ones, I cannot help but look at these blessings God has given my husband and I with utter awe. Maybe it is the sleep deprivation hitting hard, but some days I cannot believe God chose me to raise up these three little souls. Who am I to do so? To meet the very different needs of each child while raising them up as God loving, happy and thriving individuals. They may look like carbon copies of each other at birth, but their personalities are oh so different.
Our first born, sweet Adaline, is flourishing in her role as big sister. She is great at distracting Charlie and engaging him in games of chase and screaming around the house. If she is doing it, he wants to be doing it too, for better or worse. She loves to, “pet” baby Evelyn and has a wonderful calming effect on her. She loves gushing about how “adorable” Evie is and cuddling her at every opportunity. She is also Evie’s personal stylist and jumps at the chance to coordinate her outfit of the day.
Addy has her dad’s sense of humor and sensitive soul. She is shy and timid around groups of children, but once she enters her comfort zone, behold a zany and hilarious little girl pops out. She has her own sense of style and puts the most colorful outfits together based on her theme of the day. Some days it’s love day, flower day or purple day. Dress accordingly! Recently she’s been on a princess kick, despite never having seen a princess movie, and does her princess makeup and only wants to wear “pretty” things. She has a great wittiness about her and does not forget anything you want her to.
To our now middle child. As my husband aptly named him recently, after keeping us all up for two hours one night, “The King of Chaos”. You are a wild monkey who has no fear and will climb anything. We love his craziness so much even though it has physically aged me 10 years the past two years. He is incredibly mischievous and loves to make people laugh. He is the first one to smile with those perfect dimples and offer a hug. He will thrust his sweet, scarily large head towards someone he loves and says, “A kiss.” to get a kiss on his wild haired head.
Although he seems to have, understandably, mixed emotions since Evie has been hanging around, he loves to show her affection. It is terrifying. Think Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men. We are working frequently on gentle touching so he does not hurt her sweet head which he just loves to stroke while saying, “It’s okay baby” or “a cutie baby”.
Our sweet Evelyn. Her name means “wished for child” and she was prayed for. Evelyn can also mean “hazelnut”, but that is not nearly as inspiring so we will not be putting that up on any wall decor. After having a miscarriage the month before conceiving Evie, I had so much anxiety around her pregnancy the first few months. Every twinge or cramp I felt sent a moment of panic jolting through my body. When I had some bleeding I thought my brain was going to combust from anxiety. But God is good.
Her pregnancy was by far the hardest. From throwing up a dozen or more times a day for weeks on end to being in prodomal labor for the last five weeks of pregnancy. She let me know she was still growing strong and not going anywhere. I tried, and of course failed more often than not, to remind myself that all the aches and pains and fire burning in my chest were a blessing. What a blessing to be able to conceive and carry this wanted child. I’m also thrilled that our family is complete and I will not be doing it again. I’m nothing if transparent.
Evie girl is just getting to be known by our family. What I already see is a beautiful soul gifted to us by God. She is the calmest baby I have had, so far anyway. Please Lord may it be so. She is the absolute noisiest sleeper I have ever met which means I lay awake at night staring at her trying to figure out if she’s actually awake or just grunting like a little piggy in her sleep. She is loved and adored by her family and we cannot wait to see who she will grow into. Will she have her sisters love of art? Her brother’s gusto for mischief? Or will she be completely different from us all?
I am trying to appreciate and truly soak up the last precious time of having a newborn. Pausing to relish the feeling of her soft head snuggled to my cheek. Sniffing her sweet head when she rubs her little face across my chest. Gushing over the way she curls her legs up like a frog when I pick her up and pull her to my chest. The little grunts and squeaks she makes. A piece of your heart that you can carry around in the crook of your arm.
If I have learned anything in my extremely brief time as a mother to three it is to set what you feel is a realistic expectation and then lower it from there. At any given moment you will fell like you are balancing and managing your circus quite well. Baby is sleeping, the two bigger kids are playing, your kitchen is clean and you are actually putting away laundry the same day you washed it. Then approximately 30 seconds later three out of three kids are screaming, you realize you forgot to make dinner, the dog has puked on the floor and your baby has projectile pooped across the room. So give yourself grace, make an effort to give your big kids grace with this huge change in their life and apologize when you lose your cool with them, which in my case, has been often. Also, bedtime is a disaster. Just accept it. It will eventually get better. This is what I am telling myself anyway.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127: 3-5 (ESV)