Five weeks after bringing the newest Ardoin home, we are all alive and well. Woody has grown exponentially since he was born, maxing out of his newborn onesies and diapers almost immediately. He’s almost ready for size 2 diapers, and I’ve already adjusted his car seat straps twice to accommodate his lengthening and broadening frame. It’s wild.
Margot absolutely adores him and helps in any way she can to be a great big sister. She brings diapers during his diaper changes, she hands over blankies, binkies, and lovies when he cries, and with arms outstretched asks ‘hold?’ when she wants to comfort her brother. I get choked up when I think about how she’ll continue to nurture and love Woody over the years, and I praise God for graciously gifting me such a sweet tempered, and beautiful daughter. And here I am again, trusted with a second wonderful child. Isaac and I are overjoyed.
Also tired. We’re very tired.
Poor Isaac is working a night shift during a training exercise, which means I’m left with around the clock child care without much help. It’s difficult to keep the noise pollution in the home to a minimum with two under two while their dad tries to catch up on sleep in the adjacent room during the day. We’re almost done with this topsy-turvy schedule, but in the meantime, we’re each getting about 5 hours of broken sleep a night/day. I’m also averaging 24 diapers a day between the two kids, have I mentioned that? It is excessive.
We’re keeping afloat with copious amounts of caffeine and with patience that can only come from above when we seem to need it most.
I still find time to make it to my book club, weekly bible study, and occasional play dates. And I’m glad to have friends like Miss Sarah Lewis (the great Fairbanks birth photographer!) who has to get a visitor pass just to come visit me on-post to talk shop, chat about the challenges of motherhood, or just have fun creatively with double exposures, like we did yesterday. She was also such a lifeline when I was struggling through a challenging cesarean recovery and a gnarly bout of mastitis. I was also super lucky that my friend Megan happened to stop by when I was in a particularly low point, and desperately needing help while Isaac was at work (this was the first day of my mastitis, when my fever was 102F and I hadn’t been to the ER yet).
There were many other women I know from the ladies ministry who brought meals (like sweet Jena who brought food, treats and words of encouragement on three different occasions!), and provided additional support during that rocky period. It’s great to have built such a solid support system in such a remote location.
My dad also sent a tandem stroller that has utterly saved my life while carting two tiny tots around town! I hope my doc martens, patterned leggings and slouchy beanie lend cred as I load my giant stroller into my giant minivan, but even over the sound of the obscure, shoe-gazer synth pop that beats out over the stereo, I have my doubts. I have two kids and a minivan, there’s just no way around the severity of the motherhood there.
Point is we’re surviving.
We’re all making it. And in the way of Laverne and Shirley — nothin’s gonna turn us back now / straight ahead and on the track now / we’re gonna make our dreams come true! / doin’ it our way! (does the sleep deprivation show from that TV Land reprise?).