Thursday, January 23, 2014

Normalcy?

I keep thinking I should update the blog and record the past couple of weeks but nothing disastrous has happened so it seems like I have nothing specific to say. We're just adjusting and trying to find a groove. 
We're beginning to realize that it's going to be a long slow road back to normalcy. I wonder if life ever will ever be the same. Actually that's a silly thought. Of course life is never going to be the same, we now have 4 children and some health baggage.

I guess I just wonder if our personalities or bodies will be permanently changed. Who knows, it's pointless to dwell on it, all we can do is hope that we'll make any long lasting changes good ones. 
Dixie extended her stay for another week to help us settle in at home from our last Nashville trip. She did laundry, kept up on dishes and made a bunch of freezer meals! My mom flew in on Saturday night for her traditional 'come help with the new baby visit' and Dixie flew out Sunday. We had 2 grandmas for a morning! So great. My mom helped me get the house in order, put away Christmas decorations, kept us well fed, entertained, and feeling good with some new clothes and a haircut for me! We have the best moms and are awed by their kindness, generosity and personal sacrifice to help us so much. 
The kids are glad to be home and into some kind of daily routine. They are glad to have their dad back home and a new baby brother. I do wish their gladness manifested itself a bit more calmly and cooperatively. It's like they've been feeling the stress of everything and in the wake of these final moments they can now let loose....like a good hard cry at the end of a long day. We're paying the price now for all the things we had to 'let go of' parenting-wise and deal with habits that have formed during the past couple of months.  Handling their angry behavior has probably been the hardest thing to manage out of everything that's happened - at least it feels that way for me right now.  But I guess as a result we have more appreciation for any small moment of 'normal' sweetness. Frederick keeps us in ready supply of those. 
To be completely honest and a bit personal, the added stress and burdens have also affected the relationship between Chris and I... from my perspective. I feel loved and cherished most when Chris does things for me and in little physical expressions of love, especially when I'm pregnant. So with Chris feeling so awful for so long has left me feeling a bit alone. His coping strategies are: sleep, pretend to sleep and watch TV.  It was easier to not be so disappointed when it was just us in Nashville, when taking care of him was all I had to do. Being back with the kids, having a new baby, and the basic demands of being home just magnified all the things he couldn't do, and all the things I had to do or be in charge of alone. I knew he'd basically been through Hell, so I tried to give him lots of slack but I still felt a distance between us.  I hate feeling that way. It makes the whole world look gloomy.  Because of all this, both our moms really wanted us to go on a date. Thanks to Dixie's encouragement, Jess' Christmas gift, and my mom's preparation and babysitting it happened: our first date here in Starkville. 
I lost my cool with some crazy behavior from one of the kids the evening we were supposed to go out and we almost canceled. It was late, I was in a bad mood and we were both tired but I couldn't let my mom's efforts go to waste and I had been looking forward to it all day so we mostly put the kids to bed and went out to eat. I'm so glad we did. The food was great and Chris and I were finally able to connect, talk about us, and refocus our parenting plan. I feel like I better understand Chris.  It makes me want to seek for understanding first whenever I find myself wishing to be understood.  Since our date, Chris has been making good efforts to help me and express appreciation which makes a big difference. It feels great to have things better between us. Life is good when we are good, no matter the circumstances. 
On a much lighter note, Frederick is over  1 month old! Holy cow that was fast. Our first impulse is to tell people we have a 3 week old. :) 
He is such a joy to hold and cuddle and kiss and love on.  Having him sleep on my chest is the perfect medicine at the end of a frustrating day. His needs are so easy to diagnose  and take care of. Hungry? Feed him. Tired? Wrap and hold him. Cold? Add another blanket. Wet? Change him. His milk drunk state is my favorite. It feels so good to completely satisfy him...like I'm doing something right.



5 comments:

Stephanie said...

I'm glad things are a little back to normal. --hopefully, there will only be more normal to come. I think (At least for me) after having a baby for everything to not hit really close to the surface and to just feel overwhelmed. -- add cancer and you are pretty much amazing. Love and pray for you, Stephanie

Amy said...

Yay! Nothing disastrous has happened!

I love the pictures of Frederick. He looks adorable, just like a little Archibald. I can't wait to meet him.

Karen said...

Hi Brittney! Congratulations on the safe arrival of Frederick!!! He is every bit as beautiful as Alex, Charlie and sweet little (big!!) Gwen!! I just found your blog and spent over an hour reading through the past 5 months of your lives. I am in complete awe of your courage and strength. What an inspiration you and your sweet little (big!!) family are to me. I have a new perspective on life this morning and will offer a prayer of gratitude for you and Cris and the amazing example of faith through very difficult circumstances that you are showing me and so many others. I'll also pray for strength to endure for both of you and a full recovery for Cris! Oh how I wish I could come and play with your beautiful children and give you some relief from all the burdens you carry. Know that we are thinking about and praying for you all!

Radene said...

However hard it is, I am grateful to be able to peek into your heart and honest feelings during this time. My love for you and your family grows and I am reminded of God's love for each of us. I'm so glad you are all back together and hopefully have the most difficult of times behind you. We love you and pray for you. Breathe.....breathe again. :-) And remember that even if just everyone is alive, that is a great success! Hugs to you!

Amy said...

Getting caught up on some posts today! This is my favorite quote from this post: "Life is good when we are good, no matter the circumstances." I think that may become our family's motto! I'm so glad that your family has moved here! I enjoyed our lunch today! Thanks!!