Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ten Little Victories

It's been a rough few weeks, and especially given how time-consuming Mia's bedtime routine has gotten lately, I've been hesitant to commit to an upcoming Mom's Night Out that some local friends have been organizing. Ever the supportive husband, Tom has been pushing me to go for it, even as I tremble in fear for him at the thought of putting three babies to bed alone.

Of course, it won't even be possible if I can't ensure that Mia gets fed in my absence, so once I started allowing myself to accept the possibility of such an outing, it occurred to me that I first need to actually pump some milk for her, and secondly need to make sure that she'll actually take it from a bottle.

When I got up with Mia this morning, I felt that it might be a good time to break out the dusty old pump since I'd been too lazy to turn over since midway through the night, and though she'd emptied out one side, the other felt quite full. I hoped to get a couple ounces out of the ordeal, but I ended up with nearly five (almost all from the one full side). And thus began a string of little victories.

Victory number two came when I managed to coax a thirty minute nap out of Mia in her new bouncy chair. Granted, it required that I first insert a battery to get the vibrating function going, then turn on said function, and finally pick up the entire chair and sway it back and forth while she lay in it (why this is preferable to a ride in her lovely swing, I don't know) before setting her down asleep, but: mission accomplished!

Nana has been continuing her sanity-saving Tuesday visits this month, and she arrived shortly after both Mia and Michael went down for their respective naps. This left just Abby to contend with, whom Nana quickly set to work on a new, fun activity: painting.

This brought us to victory number three: Abby had a great time with watercolor, while managing to keep it off of the walls, furniture and herself.

As I sat on the loveseat watching Nana and Abby at work, and Mia in the midst of slumber, I was highly tempted to grab a quick snooze, myself. However, I had a unique opportunity to finally put a dent in the inordinately large pile of clean laundry that's been building in the hallway outside of our laundry room for the past week. My hands were free, and my babies were occupied, so I set my sleep-deprived, loopy head on straight, grabbed some empty baskets, and set to work folding clothes.

Of course, this was the point at which Mia began to stir, and Michael woke a bit early from his nap. However, with Nana around to hold and entertain the babies, as needed, I was able to continue my work until lunch.

I put off finishing it until after lunch, because it occurred to me once Abby was down for her nap and Nana was situated in the playroom with the other two that I was once again free to get stuff done, and I tackled the dishes. Tired but determined, I continued, undaunted, with the laundry upon my return to the basement.

And so my fourth and fifth victories consisted of lunch and breakfast dishes washed, and three baskets of kids' clothes sorted and folded before Michael's second nap.

He fought me on it, but went down in the end, and victory number six was a brief, magical moment in which all three babies were asleep, and none of them were on my person (Nana acted as my surrogate for Mia's nap).

As we were planning what to do for dinner, I decided that the time had come to test Mia's capacity with a bottle. She was quite resistant at first, but after I had Tom warm up the milk a bit more than I had done initially, and gave Mia to him to feed, he met with great success.

That's his "I told you so" face, by the way.

Once she got the hang of it, she guzzled down 1.5 ounces, no problem. Victory seven.

Victory eight? Mia gave us about ten minutes' head start on dinner, while she lay calm but awake in her chair and since Nana was still around, she picked up the slack from that point. Hooray for having two hands to eat with. Boo for my oldest deciding this was a good night to thoroughly misbehave through the meal, but nothing's perfect, I suppose.

When we retired to the playroom after dinner, we celebrated victory nine, as Mia once again consented to some brief time in her new chair. This time, awake.

The photobomb is courtesy of Michael, who put on his Big Brother pants and offered his little sister a toy just as I was snapping the picture.

He almost did it again here, but elected, at the last minute, to keep the toy for himself.

Though she largely favors Abby, I find it interesting that Mia so resembles Michael's newborn face in these pictures. Perhaps it's the angle at which I caught her.

Victory ten was perhaps the best of all- we got Mia asleep before 10:00 (and bonus: since we ordered in and the dishes were done at lunch, there was virtually no clean-up for us to concern ourselves with this evening). It did not happen so easily as I had first hoped when she nodded off in my arms shortly after being swaddled at 8:00. Though she did not wake when I laid her in her sleeper, she only lasted perhaps fifteen minutes before she was awoken by gas pains. Thankfully, she easily nursed back to sleep and I allowed her to snooze in the bed between Tom and me as I started my blogging, to allow her time to get very, very sleepy before being moved again.

Sadly, gas pains awoke her a second time about ten minutes later, so Tom walked her around a bit, but not for as long as he's needed to these past few nights, and she's been sleeping soundly since he brought her back to the bedroom.

I don't think it's too much to hope that we're done for the night at this point. The only unfortunate part about having such a successful day is that I'm quite sure that tomorrow won't compare. That doesn't mean there might not be lovely surprises in store, however. Only tomorrow will tell.