After we received Ava, I began a bumpy journey into life with two children. It was not done gracefully, and there are so many things I wish I could change about that. It was a crazy season of life. Nick was just finishing up his Masters program with two evening classes, working 60+ hours a week.
I had become accustomed to getting Josiah and I out of our close living quartered townhouse, taking him places to burn off energy. Josiah was not a calm peaceful child. As soon as that kid learned to crawl and lift himself up onto things, he was into EVERYTHING. Diane Comer has talked in the past in her child training study, on children who were boundary pushers and constantly testing the box. This was Josiah. I had to always be on my toes, because he was 10 steps ahead of me physically and mentally. One of our friends who is a social worker said he wasn't ADHD, but she labeled him as "H" standing for Hyper. He has an amazing attention span, but constantly constantly needed to be busy. One time I took a walk with him and Ava to a restaurant four miles a way. He got on his little trike and pedaled that thing the WHOLE way there. I have seen him push his sister in a stroller running almost 2 miles when he was 2 and a half. He needed to be going moving exploring busy busy busy. I needless to say, was EXHAUSTED. And with Nick being in school, I did not get a lot of relief or breaks from him in the evenings.
As I mentioned in my post in receiving the gift of Ava, that week I was not feeling well. When Ava came home with us, the next day I was once again in bed with fevers and chills and really unsure what was wrong with me. Nick did have that week off, and he took full responsibility of the children that week. I remember at one point laying in bed, and in the midst of my feverish sleep Nick came upstairs to change a shirt and informed me that Ava just gave him a gift that Josiah had never given him. Apparently a full on squirt to his shirt. The girl had good aim at her daddy!
After a week of fevers, tylenol, and trying to adjust into normal life, including a pizza party at our home so everyone could meet Ava, and a baby dedication on Mother's Day at our church, I remember laying on my parents couch that Sunday night of Mother's Day and knew something was not right. Nick was going back to work the next day. I drove myself to the doctor that morning and found out I had tonsillitis. They put me on antibiotics. Nick took Ava to our friend Becca's home who watched her for me while I waited for the antibiotics to kick in so I would not contaminate our newest little one, and Josiah stayed with me and kept me company in my bed.
I started to feel better, and after 24 hours on antibiotics I began my mommy job full time as a mom to two little ones. I felt like I needed to jump back into who I was again, and on a Wednesday night, I went to church with my little ones. But by the end of the night I was not feeling well. I drove the kids home, and left an overstimulated 2 year old in his room while I went to feed our little one her bottle, but still, not feeling quite right. I heard Josiah getting into all sorts of things, and I knew he just needed to get to bed, but I wanted to feed Ava and get her down. I was feeling very uncomfortable and needed to go to sleep myself. After holding her and trying to feed her for a little bit, I looked down at her bottle. She had not drank one sip of her bottle. She had just been chewing it and staring at me with her big brown eyes. I was not doing well at this point, and I put her on the ground and went to take care of her brother. I was a frustrated mama, a sick mama, and I felt very alone, just wanting Nick to come through the doors at any moment and help me. Which he didn't.
I got Josiah to bed, and then I came back and worked on feeding Ava as well as I could, then I laid her down. But that night sticks out as one of the hardest nights of my life.
My sickness lasted most of the month of May. It included 3 different antibiotics, getting hives from the second antibiotic as I found out for the first time I had an allergy to penicillin. I had a rash that lasted a week and started from my head and worked it's way out to my toes. I remember walking one night at the end of that rash and my legs itching terribly. I didn't want to be touched at all during this time, it was extremely uncomfortable.
I did have beautiful moments in the midst of it. I took Ava to a baby girl shower that was beautifully planned by all my friends. Ava wore her very frilly dress sent from her Aunt Joy in Albuquerque. I was actually feeling well that day, and I received the beautiful gift of baby girl bedding that I had admired the summer before with my friend Erin. It made me cry. I did not have any time prior to Ava's birth to prepare a room for a little girl, and I left the shower with decorations to make her nursery girly and beautiful.
Receiving Ava's baby girl bedding with tears of joy
Ava's baby shower party dressNick finished his Master's Program in June, and I began to anticipate having him around more. But then his work got even busier. We went through a few more months of craziness, of me not having my husband by my side and going stag with two kids to everything. In the middle of it, he came to a spot that he knew things needed to change, and although I am not exactly sure what happened, they did, and he began to be home a lot more. For a little while we flipped roles and I jumped at the chance to do anything with friends to get me out of the house in the evening, while he was happy to stay home. Over that year we slowly balanced out and began to figure out how to have a family life all together, where we could be home together and we didn't always have to be gone, and we could start to figure out what it meant to be a family of four.