with the exception of last Sunday when I brought Andrew home with me - because Ellie and Luke were staying with friends.
Still - we've been doing cartwheels and backflips and headstands in order to maintain order and normal with brand new Abigail added to the family - I think we've done alright.
So here is how it's looked.
Wednesday Morning Early
Luke came downstairs to find me sitting with Abigail.
I was letting Ann get a little sleep before the day started.
Hear the quiet of the house.
No sounds as all slept, except for Abigail and Luke and Near.
Luke wanted to hold Abigail.
He then asked me to hold her for a second while he found her a toy. He knew just where to find a "baby toy" and had every confidence she would love it.
And he came back with this colorful Moose.
As he held her and she seemed satisfied,
he looked up at me and with a sweet smile
"I think she likes me better than you".
I agreed with him.
I mean, after all, he's her oldest brother.
He's all of (almost) 5 years old.
And he's her very very kind, very tender big brother.
And here is that same day in the afternoon.
Again - I realized the house had gotten quiet.
Andrew was napping. Ellie and Luke were watching a movie on Ann and Steve's bed. Ann was on the computer with Abigail sleeping in her lap and then in the swing. I had just completed dinner preparations for that evening.
So I grabbed my camera and snapped pics of their new normal.
And, while the help is around, (that's me),
laundry can be under control, meals can be prepared and waiting,
and my splurge for the week was Seattle South Coffee.
(friends have been bringing them meals, the schedule has been every other night, based on leftovers - only there is a lot of us - so I've been cooking on alternate nights.)
But then, there's going to be another new normal. The one where there is no live in help.
Steve goes to work and Ann has nursing Abigail, 2 year old Andrew, and Ellie and Luke, 6 and 5, who will be home schooled. Could be daunting - but I have offered her a deal to lighten her load just a pinch.
When I brought my fourth baby (Kate) home, Ann was in first grade public school, Laura Beth was in 3 day kindergarten, and I had easy 2 year old Sarah at home with me. My mother also arranged for someone to come in twice a week to clean and do my ironing. And still it was a full load for me - What a blessed task to be very very very spent and exhausted from pouring yourself into those precious offspring. Yet, in the middle of it, well, it can be overwhelming.
That 5:00 pm hour is a doozy, all the way to bedtime. Any way it is approached, with all the preparations possible, it all goes askew. Always.
So I'm at home now.
Ada and John are in my house.
Kate is here from China.
Charlie has returned from a week in Pensacola and Gulf Shores.
Oh - and Laura Beth and Scott are here, of course, with Ada and John. As my friend, Mary, says to me a lot,
"You've got so many people!"
I do. I'm blessed.