First impressions of life with eight children under ten? It doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging!
After some initial settling in time (Delia adores little Annis, but she objected rather strenuously to Daddy returning to work after a week off!) we are all beginning to find our feet. A new normal is emerging, and God’s grace is still big enough!
I don’t think I fully appreciated what a long, hard winter it was until it was over. One of the most weatherific winters on record combined with a newly-adopted child with autism and a very heavily pregnant mama was, in hindsight, kind of a lot. The warmer air has breathed new life into all of us, it seems, and being able to send the kids outside for a bit most days is giving me a chance to catch my breath, too.
Delia is doing so well in so many areas. Everyone who sees her after not spending time with her in a while notices the change. From the inside, change is sometimes less noticeable and feels slow, but we are nevertheless encouraged. Delia is more and more often able to sign or gesture to ask for what she wants before getting to the point of meltdown. Her eye contact is improving as is her ability to focus on a task. She is having more moments of being engaged and connected throughout the day and less time checking out and withdrawing into her own world. She has good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments, but there is progress.
At one month old, sweet Annis is just the love of everyone’s life. I don’t remember a babymoon ever lasting quite so long – maybe it’s because she is my escape from an otherwise stressful day sometimes! – but I still just have to stop everything and stare at her sometimes. Thankfully nursing gives me an excuse!
At her one-month check-up she weighed in at 9 lbs 4oz, up from 7 lbs 8 oz at birth. This was a relief after Coraline’s whole scrawny, failure-to-thrive ordeal (scroll down to the bottom to see how that all turned out!)
Although I’m sure we saw a couple of very genuine, non-wind-induced smiles much earlier, Annis officially began smiling regularly and socially over this past weekend. (She was maybe saving them up for her first visit from Megan!) I cannot focus on anything else but her when she does it. She is completely captivating.
As a final update, a certain little imp turned two-and-a-half this week. I remember just a couple of months ago remarking to Trevor what an easy, sweet 2-year-old Coraline was. What would have possessed me to say something like that outloud? It was no sooner out of my mouth than the terrible twos seemed to arrive overnight. I daresay a certain new little person in our house may have brought it on, as much as Cora loves her baby sister. She does seems to be learning quickly that her new personality is not getting her the results she was hoping for, and we’re seeing glimmers of hope that our old, sweet Coraline is returning. (Through tears: “I was jumpin on Bea’s bed. That’s a bad choice. I needa make GOOD choices!”) In any case, the cute never went away.
Outtakes of two-and-a-half photo shoot (little imp!):
I’m sure I could update on lots of other things, but it would be foolish not to sleep while I’ve got eight sleeping children, so this will have to do for tonight. We are still here, we are all well, and God is still so good.