I ran out of fingers on which to count the number of times I looked at a scene from my life this past week and thought, "Yeah. Ought to get a picture of that." Then I didn't get a picture because I was trapped under a newborn or I couldn't find my camera or my camera was in a "safe place" that I couldn't get to without moving something heavy. I have a few blog posts started but not yet finished as that requires time to think and time to write. There are even more really great lines that came and went only in my head - I didn't write them down at the moment of inspiration because I either couldn't find a pen or paper or was trapped under a newborn baby.
It's a beautiful burden, being trapped under a newborn.
The flight from CA to NY was just over a week ago. My little buddy, as I now refer to him after our extended period of uninterrupted time together, did great. Better than great even. He was a trooper, sleeping and nursing the whole way without complaint. He managed to charm some ladies and even bought me some sympathy. Nobody made a comment when, in the last 10 minutes of the flight, Beta, our one-eyed cat, screamed incessantly and ultimately pooped in her carrier. The worst was getting all of the luggage by myself and trying to find Tim in the mass of cars outside of LaGuardia.
We weren't on the air mattress in the empty house for long. The movers came on Monday (exactly a week ago). My friend Mary hooked me up with a neighbors daughter who came and played with Ada all day. My biggest fear was that something heavy would get dropped on her head or she would get under foot with curiosity and send one of the movers head-over-tail down the stairs. So they played in a 3.5 x 7 room all day while I checked off a list of our belongings directing, "upstairs, master bedroom. Basement. Children's alcove," for over 6 hours.
It was an early birthday present. I turned 40 the next day (Tuesday, Aug 21). Tim and I agreed to celebrate on Sept. 21 instead since everything is in total upheaval and we have no money. He brought me beautiful flowers but the day went largely unacknowledged otherwise. I'm still conflicted about if that's good or not. I'll have more to say about turning 40 later on. Maybe on my fake birthday in September I'll write up something about it. It's all good, I promise.
The week was spent unpacking. Box after box after box...it never ends. I've been at it a full week now and it still continues. On a macroscopic level we're almost there. If you look a little more closely (like open a drawer or closet) you can see that I have so much work to do yet...
The opportunity comes like little sips of air. The only long stretch of time I've had is one night when I couldn't take the way the kitchen was anymore and stayed up until 2 am to unpack it. Afterwards I could hardly get out of bed. Tim was kind and took the baby for the morning so I could sleep. Then he committed a sin of the phone camera:
Otherwise, there's a sippy cup here, breast feeding there, boo boos to soothe and bottles to wash. The babe gives me about 2 hours in the Moby so I have to use that time wisely - unpacking or reading with Ada. I'd like to be that mom who gleefully ignores the mess surrounding her completely to spend focused time with her children. It's just not me. I'm too Type A to leave the family wandering through a labyrinth of boxes crying out "Marco!" waiting for a response so they can find their way from one room to another.
Ingram is totally used to being held ALL of the time. This was our routine when I was at my dad's so the lack of holding and cuddling now is really harshing his baby mellow.
The real news here is that Ada is adapting beautifully. Especially when we are in the house she does great. Discovering her toys all over again with each box we open, it's like perpetual Christmas for her. All my concerns that she would somehow link all of the moving and separation to her baby brother, and hate him for it, turn out to be completely unfounded. Rather, she loves him. She wants to take care of him and is endlessly sweet.
He's a lucky guy, I think. I can't wait to see the differences in development between the two of them as he'll have her to encourage him the whole way. All mothers tell me their second, third, fourth child progressively did everything earlier at either the insistence of the older children or by sheer desperation to keep up.
That's another thing: I keep referring to them as "the children" like I'm all Little House on the Prarie now.
For now, he's mostly a blob of eating and pooping and being cute. She is like the Tasmanian devil, a whirlwind of activity leaving a trail of spent toys and Cheerios in her wake.
Tim is aching for structure. I am looking toward the next phase of our lives with great anticipation. I think we're going to like it here. I can tell that much of the stress has changed or been dropped entirely. Despite the chaos surrounding us we have laughed more in the past week than we did in the entire past year. Like a huge emotional exhale, it's quite a relief.