Four Becomes Normal

UPDATE: BLOGGING BLUNDER!!!! Forgot to give credit to the photos: My wonderful friend Kristina Sklar took these on Claire’s one month b-day. She set up her backyard and went to town. We had a blast – thanks Kristina!!!!!!!

We drove Aubi (JD’s mom) to the airport yesterday. I sobbed as she walked to the agriculture check-in. My only consolation at the time was remembering that my parents are coming out in six weeks. Just in time to help us through my transition from maternity leave to working full time/parenting full time.

JD pulled away from the curb with a sleeping baby and a tired toddler. Five minutes into our freeway drive, our car slowed to a standstill and Claire began to scream. Traffic jam. Claire continued to scream, drivers merged like it was their FIRST TIME EVER MERGING A CAR, the binky was thrown into an unreachable place, and El fidgeted nervously. JD commented on others’ driving (ahem) and I just sat there, incapable of making the situation better. At one point, God’s grace erupted in the form of laughter as I looked at JD and laughed, nearly hysterically, at our new normal.

We were blessed with five weeks of help. Irreplaceable, wonderful help.

And then there were four.

The traffic cleared and we stopped to change Claire’s near blowout and grab an iced mocha with plenty of whipped cream for the mama. JD joked about grabbing a beer as well, but there were errands to be run and we were just at the beginning. Starbucks and hydroponics gear were purchased, and it was off to Costco with the girls.

El fell asleep seconds before pulling into the Costco parking lot. Claire, clearly tired from all the screaming and pooping, was fast asleep as well. And so JD and I each grabbed a baby and headed in the warehouse. Costco is easily done with sleeping babes. We scanned our list and finished the shopping in record time. $70 in diapers later, I resolve to begin potty training and start cloth diapers again for Claire. Aaah two babies.

Two loves.

The girls woke up, Claire needing to nurse IMMEDIATELY! DO NOT DELAY! So I scurried off to the car, pausing to grab a hot dog while JD took El. I settled into nurse the dear sweet one, juggling hot dog and soda and immediately thought back to when we drove our bus to Costco, all three of us sitting with the windows open while I nursed Elianna. It was all so dramatic and new then. Completely overwhelming.

I chuckled to myself as I remembered the chaos of it all. Claire nursed easily, and I ate. There was no tension, no nervousness.

El and JD came then, and El pretended to drive while JD loaded our small, cozy car. We were just about to leave when I smelled the nasty business. The nasty business that was taken care of by JD on the trunk of our car because there is no other space. For the second time that day.

As we drove the coastline home, I thought about our new life. Four. I thought about how crazy it was to adjust to our firstborn, how I was frightened to leave El alone in her carseat while I ran in to grab something and how each blowout was a story. I thought about how dramatic life was. How other moms must have rolled their eyes inside while patiently walking me through the fact that it’s ok to hold a schedule loose and let the baby cry while I applied my makeup. And then I thought about how it’s ok that life was chaotic then and it’s ok that life is chaotic now.

New babies are simple and pure and chaotic all at the same time. It makes for a very dramatic season. Life with a toddler and a baby isn’t mundane. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. And while the waves crashed the rocks alongside our car, I thought about how somehow God sees us fit for this season.

How God created this little family of ours – each child for us and for each other. I thought about how God knew Claire needed to be a part of our family just as El was meant for us and for her. How even though I know this – part of all its purpose is in the process. The process of learning to love each other through uniqueness, differences, similarities, stages, and transitions.

And while I thought about this my shoulders relaxed and I started to breathe easier. Because Claire is a beautiful addition to our family and God, in His infinite wisdom and love for our family, gifted us with a new baby girl. One who is adored by her sister, her parents, her extended family overseas, and her community here.

She is made for us, as we are for her… and the beauty comes in discovering this significance amidst the chaos of tantrums, restless naps, diapers, dishes, meals, baby coos, toddler squeals, and family dance parties.

Stay tuned as we navigate once again – our new normal.

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6 thoughts on “Four Becomes Normal

  1. Barbie says:

    Oh, Annie, how I loved this post! Thank you for summing up my life for the past 3 1/2 months in a way that I could not. When I try to find the words, I feel like it often comes out as negativity…when that’s not necessarily what I’m feeling. It’s just hard to sum up this beautiful chaos of figuring out life as 4. And I’m praying that these next six weeks are calm and enjoyable and that the transition back to work will be smooth for you and yours. You’re such a good mama.

  2. Hi Annie, I enjoyed reading both this blog post, as well as the other “our new normal” blog post. 🙂 Love the similarities and the differences. But it bothers me that I can’t pictures you at Costco. I’ve been to the Sam’s Club nearest Honolulu, which is upstairs above the Wal-mart (unless I’ve got that mixed up), but not Costco and I can’t picture where you are. Boo. 😦 Anyway, great post, and you will do great with your new normal. Love you!

  3. Jackie says:

    Annie, you are amazing. Thank you for this post – your perspective is humbling…as always! Love the pic’s! Keep up the good work 🙂

  4. anniegroves says:

    Barbie – ah thanks – good to hear I’m not alone. I’m anxious to figure it out, but trying desperately to enjoy the itty bitties because it’s a fleeting season.

    Erika – hahaha thanks! The Costco we go to is in Hawaii Kai – about 20 mins from Honolulu heading East 🙂 It’s our favorite Costco!

    Christie – thanks love 🙂

    Jackie – thanks for the encouragement 🙂 love you

    Emme – Kristina did a great job! haha I like writing about parenthood. Still feel like such a rookie 😉

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