Welcome home

We continue to be waiting patiently...well, not so patiently for baby Amelia to make her debut into this world. She is probably scared to come out! At 39 weeks and 2 days, she is no closer to being here than she was last week--only another 1/2 pound bigger or so!! We've scheduled an induction for March 23rd if necessary, in hopes that the final result will be having her here and being somewhat settled by the 28th which is Jakob's confirmation. It is frustrating at very least to hope for and wonder if "this contraction is starting something". One more thing that I need to give up to God, for it is not in my time, but His...until Monday, then I guess I take it back! :) I really do hope she decides to come on her own before Monday morning.

It would've been incredibly convenient if she would've arrived this last weekend. Tim's mom and dad took Ben and Joe on Friday after school until today. This has happened before, but not on a weekend, and not under the circumstances of being on the verge of having a baby. It is always different when one or more of the kids are gone at a meal, over night, or for an extended period. Our family dynamics change even from 6 kids to 5 kids, but from 6 to 4 and the four being the oldest four...WOW. We came home Friday at about 3:00 after going to the grocery store (early dismissal) and I wasn't feeling the greatest, so I announced that I was going to take a nap, please don't leave the yard and be nice to each other. I didn't fight anyone to go to sleep, I wasn't awakened by anyone tattling that someone was in the pantry, peed somewhere, or wouldn't listen, and I took an uninterrupted 60 minute nap! I then got up and proceeded to make dinner without someone hanging on my leg screaming that the pantry was locked and traumatized because they wanted to eat right now. Sitting down at the table was also different. It was quiet...well, more quiet than usual. We had food left over, but none on the floor, no spills, no chairs knocked over, no telling someone 127 times to sit down and eat. Following dinner we all watched a movie from start to finish and then proceeded to brush teeth, say prayers and send the kids to bed. By 9:00 all was quiet and I sat dumbfounded. My thoughts were about how easy the previous 6 hours had been and how much more we could do if this--this family of four children --was our everyday. We could go places, do things, not be limited by threats of what happens when naps are neglected, or tantrums break out, or patience wears thin (I'm talking about the patience of little people this time). Then I thought, and said aloud, "This is what Taubenheim's family was like before Zach came! They reached a point of independence. A point of not fighting a 2 year old to get buckled in a car seat, or a 4 year old to stay buckled, or stay in bed, or eat, or not pee his pants or write on the wall with Sharpies or cut up clothing, or run away in a store, or climb on furniture and play in the water at the doctor's office, or...the list in my head was enormous! And then they were blessed with a new one...something that i'm sure both rocked their worlds from smooth sailing to having to stop to nurse a baby, change a baby, soothe a baby, etc, and also allowed a whole new perspective on bringing a newborn home to a relatively unfamiliar circumstance...no toddler. This is what we would be doing if Ben and Joe were not part of our family. Wow...that's a lot to ponder...and then I went to bed and slept all night until almost 8:00 the next morning. (It would've been later, but the darn dog woke me up!)

Saturday was more of the same...I sat and had a cup of coffee with Mattie...OK, she spilled it, but she also wiped it up! Everyone got their own breakfast, and got themselves ready to walk out the door to TKD. Mattie and I ran errands rather efficiently while the boys were at their class and then we all returned home to have a quick lunch and go about the rest of our afternoons of doing whatever we wanted to. Mattie and I sewed and the boys played games (mostly video games)--but I didn't even care that they were in front of the screen for 2 hours! We left again for church at 3:15 and came home again afterward to eat another fairly quiet meal together. Tim at this point was exhausted, as he'd been at work since 4 am so the night was fairly quiet as well. Sunday morning, again, awakened only by the dog, Jakob and I went for a walk with Nick, Tim and I went to the store together to get rolls and juice and the rest of the day was again carefree but productive. I suppose it totally helps that we didn't have a ton of things going on. We took Mattie and Jon to the park to play while the boys had Conquest Sunday evening, and at that point, I was really starting to miss the little boys.

Our family dynamics had changed for a little more than 48 hours. It was a nice break, but one I wouldn't want to know for long after not knowing it for the last 4 years. I don't know what it would be like to not have a Benjamin and a Joseph. I can't lie and say I don't look forward to the day when we can all just go do something without changing a diaper or having a nap or cleaning a spill first, but since it's been 8 years since we haven't had a two year old in the house, I suppose two more years won't seem long! I'm not ruling out doing the two year old thing more than one more time, just recognizing the advantages of reaching that point of relative independence.

I'm sure too that we'll quickly forget the unsurmounted chaos that comes with the virtually complete dependence of one or more children, as I quickly did in my mere 2 1/2 days. Benjamin and Joseph came home today and within 15 minutes of our reunion, I was exhausted! "Get in your seat...stay in your seat...don't throw that there...time to lay down...NOW...don't eat that...get out of there...please don't argue with me...come back here...use your inside voice...don't tear that...please don't dump that out...pick that up...put that down...don't run away..." By the time Tim got home for dinner, the volume level was through the roof and the neighbors three houses away I'm sure could hear the fighting, screaming, crying, competing for being heard!

Welcome home! LOL! It may be exhausting, challenging, even maddening at times, but I wouldn't give any of them up...not for more than a couple of days anyway. :)

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