Life with Three Boys
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Based on last year's eventful events, I have yet to place baby William in his car seat on the sofa for either of the toddlers to knock down. Go me! Although I can’t say he hasn’t fallen down. A few weeks ago, Vincent took Harrison to a doctor’s appointment in Cincinnati and I decided to venture out of the house to the mall to walk around with William and Brooks since it was a windy day. As we were heading back to my van, William’s car seat flipped out of the stroller.
Just flipped out.
The wind just knocked the car seat over.
And, yes, William was properly strapped in so he didn't physically touch the pavement. Thankfully.
A sweet little lady said, “Ohhhh!!” and came shuffling over to help me as I quickly pulled William out to check him over. He was completely fine and the sweet lady helped me get the kids into the car probably thinking in her head that I had my hands way too full. Little did she know there was another kid that wasn’t even with me!
I immediately called Vincent to make sure I didn’t need to get William checked out since the impact of the fall was on the pavement and not a soft rug. I racked my brain trying to think of how this happened; the car seat must have not been clicked into the stroller all the way or the wind was just that strong. Who knows. When we arrived home, I made sure William was still able to nurse (everything good there… have you seen those chubby cheeks?) and read mommy forums about kids falling in their car seats. Nothing like a good ol’ mommy forum to make you suddenly feel immensely better about yourself as mom, right? Or maybe you come to my blog to feel better about yourself as a mother…
Life with three littles three and under, including one with special needs, while Vincent is in residency has certainly not been easy. But it’s also not impossible and it doesn't have to or need to be miserable. Yes, it's exhausting. Yes, I do get frustrated with the toddlers. Yes, I do enjoy them. I get asked more often than I’d like to share how I’m doing it. “How are you doing it?” “What do you do when they are all crying?” “How do you do bath time?” These are just some of the questions I get asked. all. the. time.
- Spend time in Prayer. My prayer life has grown immensely after William’s birth. When it’s witching hour bedtime and the toys the boys just picked up are suddenly all over the floor again, Brooks is underneath the sink with all the cleaners and dishwasher pods strewn about reminding me I need to buy more cabinet locks (these magnetic cabinet locks are superb and easy to install), Harrison is doing his plop and flop because he got blueberries for dessert instead of a cookie, I stop and pray. Praying reminds me that these children belong to the Lord. They are His
crazybeautiful children He has blessed me with to raise and to love and to show His Grace to.
- Buy a Lillebaby Complete Airflow Carrier. I really don’t know what I’d do without it. My friend let me borrow hers to make sure it was comfortable for me (and for Vincent) before I made the investment in it. Let me tell you, it is very comfortable. Vincent and I both love it! Baby William loves it, too. He is a snuggle bug and loves to be held; this carrier allows him to feel snuggled while I play hide and seek with the boys, change their diapers (yup... they are ALL in diapers still), give them baths, read them books, give Harrison all his medicine, fold laundry, wipe poop off the playroom floor, etc. It allows me to have fun cooking dinner instead of rushing around chopping up veggies while William is screaming because he's not being snuggled. I also have the Solly Baby Wrap in my car at all times because ya just never know.
- Get a Britax Double Stroller. If you read my post (linked in first paragraph) last year, you’ll know that I LOVE this double stroller. It still looks brand new. Well, okay, besides the Cheerios and mud stains on it. But, really, it is still easy to fold, is light enough to stick in the back of my van, and the boys love it. I use this to take all three boys on a walk (I have William in the carrier) or if I’m taking them to the park by myself and I don’t want Harrison to bolt off before we even get to the playground. Getting sunshine and seeing the boys enjoy God's nature is a big component in finding enjoyment in life with my boys. I’ll probably also use the stroller when I take all three of them to the grocery store. It has a big enough bottom to fit at a quick run worth of groceries underneath. Full disclosure: I have yet to take all of them to the grocery store…. kind of terrified of that adventure and it might reverse my attempt at this joyful attitude.
- Invest in Pacifiers. Neither Harrison nor Brooks took a pacifier. I’m so thankful William takes one! Truthfully, I really don’t like pacifiers; I see way too many kids having a tough time parting from them and that just doesn’t look like a fun stage to go through. I must say, though, that I do give William a pacifier when everyone’s crying and I need to pacify (no pun intended) the other two kids until I am able to nurse him. William seems to like these pacifiers more than any other kind.
- Watch Signing Time Videos. Speaking of everyone crying, sometimes we have rough days. By around 4:30, I seem to run out of fun activities for the boys and I need to start cooking dinner. Those who know me know that I do not like showing the boys more than 45 minutes of TV a day. But on those rough days when we’ve already watched our quota and I'm about to lose my positive attitude, Signing Time comes to the rescue. Rachel does an amazing job of teaching sign language through catchy (I mean really catchy) songs and she also does a fantastic job of teaching in general. There are videos on family, feelings, first signs, nursery rhymes, playtime, ABCs, and much more. Harrison grew up on Baby Signing Time and knows a LOT of signs ... many that I don't even know! This has helped his communication skills tremendously thus making life more enjoyable with him.
- Spend Time with Each Kid. This is probably the hardest one for me to accomplish each week just because of Vincent's schedule and the age of the boys. It's easy to spend time with Brooks when the baby is sleeping and Harrison is at school. I can spend time with the baby when respite care comes to help out with Harrison and Brooks. But it can be difficult to find time to spend with just Harrison. I've started keeping him up for fifteen to twenty extra minutes at night or at nap so I can spend some individual time with him. What does spending one on one time do? It gives me a chance to see how each child is growing in his own way and it reminds me to enjoy each stage (even when it seems extremely hard to enjoy the potty training stage or the tantrum stage or the teething stage or the sleep boycott stage) because kids truly do grow incredibly fast.
- Sleep when You Can. Ha.