A couple of days after Rebecca was born, I woke up in the middle of the night and I could seriously not remember if we had four kids or five. I actually had to sit there and run through their names while counting along on my fingers. Yeah, I'm THAT kind of a mom. Either that, or my mind was seriously fogged from the lack of sleep that comes with having a hungry newborn.
Really, I cannot complain of sleep deprivation, though. Rebecca figured out how to nurse while lying by my side within a couple of nights, so now I lose hardly any sleep at all because we both snooze while she nurses. The thing that is making me lose sleep more than anything is when I wake around 4 am or so to nurse her, at which point I am pretty well rested. I find myself just staring at her, cuddling her, and smelling her sweet skin for a couple of hours, before I finally doze off again just before the older kids wake me up - at which point I am usually pretty tired. But that's a good problem to have, really. I know there are countless women who wish they could have children but for one reason or another cannot, and I feel so absolutely blessed to have had yet another child. I am also infinitely grateful for my husband, who loves children as much as I do and is willing to work hard and long to provide such a wonderful life for our family.
The other kids have all been adjusting very well. They are all eager to help, and Solomon and Isaac are actually really good at entertaining Rebecca while I have my hands free for a little bit. They like to rock her in my rocking chair or sit on the sofa holding her. She loves watching them talk and play. Miriam is very gentle with her. Rebecca insists on being held pretty much around the clock, which comes as no surprise to us because that's exactly how all the other kids were, too. I don't mind - I know this phase won't last. I am really glad I precooked all those meals. Now I can afford to just sit around with the baby all day while reading books to the other kids or teaching them science and history on the living room sofa.
Miriam likes to pretend she is a midwife with her play stethoscope and blood pressure cuff:
This weekend, the Desert Botanical Garden was having its annual fall festival. It is nearly impossible to find a fall-themed event that does not also tie in Halloween, which we do not celebrate and the kids really hate. This fall festival has lots of fun, such as hayrides, petting zoo, pumpkin patch, bale maze, crafts, etc. and nothing Halloween-related. Because we are members at the botanical garden, it is also practically free for us ($8 for me and the kids vs. $30 for non-members). I was really torn between having the older kids miss out this year, or going there Friday morning by myself with all 5 kids. I felt good on Friday morning, and the baby was very sleepy, so I packed up the whole bunch and took them. All went very well until we were on our way back from the pumpkin patch. I couldn't bring the stroller on the hayride, so I was carrying Rebecca in a sling. Miriam got tired at this point and refused to walk, so I was carrying her, too, as well as a heavy backpack full of water, diapers, and other essentials I have to tote around. The three boys had all picked out pumpkins, but they were pretty heavy for them and they needed help carrying them back to where the hayride was leaving. For a few minutes, I was wondering if I was in my right mind that morning. But once we got back to where we had left the stroller, I got to sit down and feed the baby. Then we used the stroller to haul the pumpkins back to the van, and because the baby was now sleeping contently again we went back to the botanical garden for a quick stop to see the monarch butterfly exhibit that was only going to be there for another week. In all, it was a very fun morning, and went much better than I had expected.