Monthly Archives: April 2017

A Day in the Life When We Were Still Five

We are now a party of six, and I want to remember those special days when it was Henry and Arden, age 3.5, and Hunter, age 22 months, so I wrote this two months ago.  It will be a total snooze to anyone but me, but a blogger’s gotta do what a blogger’s…you get it.

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7:05AM Thanks to daylight savings time, the kids are now waking at this perfectly reasonable hour.  We’ve spent years rising between 6 and 6:30, but we’ve implemented the toddler alarm clock (only for the twins, Hunter is too young) and it’s done wonders.  Right now it is set for 7:15AM, so they usually chat from 7:00 until it turns green at 7:15 and then they toddle into our room.

Hunter has already called “Dada!  Dada!  MAMA!” so he’s in-between us in our bed, holding his stuffed puppy and sucking his thumb.  This is the most glorious time, as he loves to just lay quietly with us until the twins arrive.

7:15AM  Not one minute late, the twins walk into our room, each holding a blanket and a stuffed animal or doll.  They crawl into our bed and snuggle or cavort around until Mike gets in the shower.

7:45AM  Mike is getting ready for the day and I lumber my big belly out of bed and start getting dressed.  I change Hunter’s diaper and verbally facilitate the twins getting dressed.  For Arden this involves asking her at least half a dozen times to get going, for Henry this requires absolutely nothing; he always gets dressed on his own initiation.

8AM Breakfast time — I make everybody either eggs, toast and fruit, or oatmeal with cinnamon, banana and seeds, or a green smoothie.  Mike rolls in and makes his coffee and we all sit down to eat.

8:20AM Mike kisses the crew and heads to work, and I begin cleanup while the kids all do an independent activity.  Usually they each read, or play in the living room (that is actually a playroom), or put some music on to start our day.

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8:40AM  I check the calendar, pay any bills, check email, get my head organized about what needs to happen that day.

8:45AM  If it’s…
Monday — we head to Toddler Time at the gym to burn some energy.  I pack lunch ahead so we can spend more time there and there’s less to do upon returning.
Tuesday — we go to Bible Study at church, with me getting two glorious hours of worship, teaching, interacting with adults, small group time, and two uninterrupted cups of tea.  The kids get loads of stimulation and interaction with other kids in children’s ministry.  Everybody wins.
Wednesday — Nonni day!  My mom comes over at 9:30AM and spends the day with us and it is fantastic.
Thursday — twice a month we have MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) which is a lot like Bible Study in that I am with other moms for two hours with brunch and lots of chatting, and the kids are in children’s ministry doing crafts, stories, play time, etc.  On non-MOPS days I try to arrange playdates.
Friday — Nana day!  My mama-in-love comes over at 9:30AM and spends the day with us and we love it.

12PM  I make lunch while they play or read.

12:20PM  Lunch time

12:40PM  I clean up lunch and then spend half an hour reading to them, or playing, or doing whatever my body will allow me to do at that point.  I can’t chase them anymore, or spend more than a minute or two sitting on the ground, but we find ways around this.

1:15PM Nap time!  All three down and all the hallelujahs.  I spend the first part of naps eating lunch if I didn’t eat with them, then doing a chore.  Mon: kids laundry plus dusting and vacuuming downstairs (though I usually vacuum earlier or after nap to reduce noise), Tues: our laundry plus dusting and vacuuming upstairs, Wed: clean kitchen, Thurs: bathrooms, Fri: break.  Then I usually have 45 minutes to an hour to rest, which I spend emailing, reading, blogging, or budgeting.

3:15PM  Their alarm clock light tells them it’s okay to get up, but often Henry will wake up around 3PM and whisper “Mom!  Mom!” and I’ll sneak him out of his room and we’ll read books downstairs before the others are up.  Hunter often sleeps until 3:45.

4PM  If it’s not raining, we go outside after nap and a quick snack.  Riding bikes, going on a walk, playing in the yard — whatever we can do to be outside and burn some energy and get some fresh air.  Nowadays it’s hard for me because simply standing without taking a quick sit break makes me contract more frequently, so this part of the day is good but hard.  The kids aren’t old enough to be out front without an adult, so I really have to be physically present at all times.  Thankfully, our dear family friends gave us their super safe trampoline (only a foot off the ground, totally netted), which we put in the backyard.  So now I can release the hounds to the backyard and start dinner and they’re perfectly safe.  This is a saving grace just in time for the baby and for spring.

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5PM  My brain is officially on countdown mode until Mike walks through the door.  Most days I can start dinner without him there, but if they really want to stay outside I’m stuck until he’s home.

5:30PM  Daddy’s home!  As soon as he arrives, all the kids barrel up the stairs with him to change.  This is exactly as Mr Rogers as it sounds.  He changes out of his suit and into casual clothes, and Henry insists on doing the same.  Even if he was wearing play clothes all day, Henry will change into another set of play clothes so he’s just like Daddy.  It’s adorable.  Then they all wrestle on the bed and play and laugh while I start dinner allllll by myself.  It is a lovely reprieve.

6PM  Dinner time.

6:30PM  Our agreement is that Mike cleans up dinner since I cooked it, but most of the time I just want him to play with the kids because they miss him, and also because I am burned out from playing with them all day, so I actually prefer the cleanup.

7:10PM  Head upstairs for bedtime routine: bath (every other to every third day), pajamas, teeth, story time.

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7:30PM  Lights out.

7:40PM  Parental fiesta!!!!!  At nine months pregnant, this looks like asking Mike to do some sort of nesting chore, and then we have snacks and watch something on Netflix.

10PM  Bed.  Another day on the books.

P.S.  Lest I give the impression this is all a smooth operation, there are moments of stress and chaos so acute I think I’m going to run screaming from the house.  That’s when, at least a couple of times a week, I call in the big guns…TV.

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Those glazed expressions mirror my own.  They need a break from me as much as I do from them.  Glory, glory.

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It’s a BOY! Welcome, Jameson!

It’s a boy!  Our third son and fourth child has arrived!

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On Thursday, March 23 at 7:30AM, we welcomed our precious baby Jameson Wendell Reph into the world and our long-waiting arms.

It was instant love.

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He was 8 lb 12 oz, also my exact birth weight.  He felt and appeared feather-light to us, due to him coming out a full two pounds lighter than his predecessor.  All the nurses would pick him up and exclaim at how big he was, and we’d sort of stare at them like, not to us, ladies…not to us.

He is the sweetest. He sleeps constantly. He only wakes twice a night to feed and then returns to his preferred state of unconsciousness. This is more than we could have hoped for in a fourth child.  God is indeed merciful.

We can’t get over how blonde he is.  It’s white hair.  Mike also had this hair at birth, which is charming.

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Henry always checks on him. “Where’s that baby? Where’s Jameson? Who is staying with him when we go to the gym? You, Mom?”  Henry is like his security detail.

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Arden would like to eat him whole. She runs to the couch and says, “Give me that baby!  I want to hold my precious baby boy. I love him so much I can’t bear it. He is the cutest baby I have ever seen.”  These are actual quotes.

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Kindly disregard this pink blanket.  He peed on the blue one previously wrapped around him.

Hunter looks in his bassinet every morning and exclaims “Baby!” and then tries to give him a toy. If Jameson is already awake, he comes over to kiss him, first on the head, then smack on the lips. It’s like an opiate to see a baby baby a baby. Did you follow that noun-verb-noun usage? I hope so.

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Their embrace of him does frightening things to my mama heart, or maybe my uterus. I see how they love their new sibling and I say to Mike, “We’re having a dozen children.”  This makes for super fun facial expressions of pure fear.

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Second to our love for Jameson is our gratitude that his birth went so well.  The scheduled surgery went as planned without complication, and my recovery is steady.  The Lord’s protection and love were evident and gave us great peace.  If you are one of the many who joined us in praying on that special day, we are so, so grateful.  Thank you, thank you.

I’m eager to tell the story but it will be far less exciting, though no less extraordinary, than those of his siblings; the birth of every baby is miraculous and remarkable.  We’re just glad that this time the outcome was wholly positive.

 

For now, we’re reveling in this little life, this tiny baby we will treasure forever in our newfound family of six.

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