The Rigors of Raising Saints

28 February 2013

(alternate title that I almost flew with: The Rigors of Raising Hellions)

I only type about it every other sentence so it isn't news to you that this has been a really rough month. I always tell myself I won't write a "this was a horrible month" post after Simon is finished with nights but look at me now: defying and denying my former self. It's been the month of so much tired and the messiest house and the worst diet and so many visits to see Simon that never ended in a visit but with long waits in the car and then (maybe?) a zoom out of the hospital parking lot in a really nasty mood with three crying kids - two of which may or may not have been buckled into their car seats. They're sneaky and crafty and I hate it almost as much as I loathe these rotations. I tried to remember that we were in a similar situation last January when Sebastian was two months old and Julia was 15 months old and Simon was on nights and that it didn't last forever but it felt like IT WOULD. More than forever. So when Simon asked, "do you ever wish you could just go back to your time in DC?", as we pulled out of the driveway this past Friday night on our way to a family outing to Costco I surprised myself by quickly answering that I didn't.


He pressed on, "you don't?! all that time to yourself and getting dressed in nice clothes every day and going out with your friends whenever you wanted??" and again, but a little more hesitantly I answered that I didn't.

And it's true. Oh, would I give my third born's locks to go back to a Thursday night of dancing followed by a Friday morning headache and frenzy of emails about the slightly hazy memories that were always funnier when stifling laughter and shuffling papers at my desk at work? Bleep yeah.

I actually think this was from a weekend trip to NYC because, you know, I could do fancy things like that.

I remember telling Simon (and he doesn't let me forget it) that the reason I was so unorganized was because I had an hour long commute to and from work every day. I was busy!! I had to walk to the metro every morning and sometimes if it was extra full I had to stand on the 40 minute ride and then walk from the metro all the way to work and do the same thing in reverse every day after work. So much toil. So much alone time that my current self would slay for as she is pretty excited about a solo trip to get blood drawn on Friday morning. 

Sometimes I would take a break from emailing to give tours of the Capitol (in my lenses that look suspiciously transitional) because my job was .34 steps above that of an unpaid intern. Can you spot the Blackberry that made me look centuries more productive and important than I actually was?

It was an easy and fun life that I still managed to find fault with from time to time. When Simon and I were dating long distance we would talk for hours on the phone every night and I wouldn't go to sleep till 1 or 2 and had to wake up at 7 to get myself ready for that big odyssey of a commute to slide into work by 9. I thought I knew the meaning of tired. Knee slap.

St. Patrick's Day 2008. On the metro and on our way to have a terrible time.

What was there not to miss? Every weekend's greatest conundrum was the pressure of choosing thee most fun thing to do. Staying in over going out? Let me bite my nails and nervously mull that over lest I make a decision that I'll regret ..... never.

So three weeks into this rotation that just won't quit it would make sense that one might long for the carefree life of the DC days. Build me a time machine and take me back and away from these! kids! These kids that I love but that are very skilled at finding my last nerve standing and having a stomping contest all over it.


Sebastian weaseled his way into the refrigerator earlier this week and had made an impressive pile with the carton holding 18 eggs, the syrup bottle, and the barbeque sauce container all on the floor. He hadn't broken anything or spilled a drop and was pretty proud of his architectural genius. Before I could decide whether to scold or applaud his efforts he had cantered off to scratch and draw blood from Theo's face and (again!) was pretty proud of his accomplishment that left his victim crying his first real tears.


Julia painted all ten of her fingers and her lips with dark nail polish this morning and won't stop telling me that "it hurt her." My greatest triumph yesterday was figuring out how the back windshield wiper worked and the day before that it was getting all four of us from the house into the car in a record-breaking 4 minutes even if we were all outfitted in clothing that could've passed for hobo-pajama-chic.

Staying at home with little kids is really hard. It's grueling and nonstop and exhausting in the worst and best ways. I keep hearing that it gets easier as they get older and I'll believe it when I see one of them put on a pair of socks or voluntarily put something back where it belongs but I wouldn't trade these years for a former, funner world. An especially frustrating day? A million times yes but I think I'd probably be missing Julia's unique sense of modesty and minimalistic hair accessorizing ...


along with a whole host of other toddler quirks. So on the days that seem to go on for 99 hours and when I'm way too tired to even begin to rectify the paralyzing feeling of needing to interact with people that can speak in complete sentences sans multiple speech impediments I try to remember that fact. I usually fail but time flew when I was having fun and time will have flown when I was in the trenches and raising my little saints. 



So she hopes and so she thinks.


Sometimes I think these types of posts sound like a good idea at three in the morning in between placating Theo's grunts and so I type them. I usually don't publish them but I just couldn't let all those screen shots of ancient Facebook photos go to waste. Forgive me.

95 comments:

  1. so glad i clicked google reader one more time before ending my naptime love affair with the internet. thanks for writing this--and thanks for being such a good mama! your children are definitely lucky little ones!! we have one 2 year old, and as difficult as "these precious days" can be---I am envious that you have 3 babes to love, chase and sigh over. hope the day brings you some happy surprises and a few moments of peace!!

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  2. LOVE it! I know exactly what you mean. As much as I loved my freedom back in the day...I love this vocation of mine even more. Thanks for another great post!

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  3. I loved this post. Even though I'm not a mom, I know it's so true and I can't wait until those days for our family.

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  4. God bless you, Grace! I can't imagine having three children so close together (my oldest was shy of five when the third was born and will be just-turned-seven when number four arrives). I know you can't believe it when people tell you it, but it DOES get easier. Not only can the six-year-old dress herself, zip her coat, etc., she can do that for both of her younger siblings as well. It's a life changer! I don't have to crawl to the back of the van to strap EVERYONE in--just the littlest in the front and she takes care of herself and the three-year-old. We were just looking at pictures of when number two was a baby and gosh it was hard to remember those times. They grow so fast, even when the days drag. But we are so blessed to be their mothers, as I know you know!

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  5. You are crazy, I am so so glad you posted it. One of my very favorite ones ever.

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  6. Always a good idea! Keep 'em coming:)

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  7. First time you have made me cry! As I sit pregnant with our fifth and our oldest being 7, I get pretty overwhelmed. How am I going to manage the house, homeschooling, having 2 in diapers for a third time! And then I read this and it reminds me that yes I will one day miss these moments when all my kid were little. No matter how hard it may be they will not be this little for ever, they will grow up and that is just as overwhelming!

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    2. Ditto! I am 30 weeks preggo with my number 6, my oldest is 9, and I really needed to read this on a day like today when I'm 15 minutes from the kids bedtime, hubby is at work, and I would just about trade any one of these minions for a GLASS OF WINE! This too shall pass, right!? I will offer prayers for your sanity and pregnancy. God Bless you.

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    3. Thank you for your prayers! Will be offering up prayers for you as well.
      God Bless,
      Angela

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  8. Yay! Go you for hitting publish this time! Love the old photos.

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  9. I needed to read this today. Mike was away overnight for a work conference and I am death waiting for the end of the two days, and only one night, away. You are amazing! I am mystified by how you do this multiple days/nights in a row. Keep up the saintly work!

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  10. Love this. Thank you for hitting publish. The crazy has been getting to me a wee bit, so thanks for the timely reminder that I really don't want to be anywhere else. (Except maybe for an hour or two.) on a related note, what time is too early to start drinking? I'm asking for a friend.

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  11. This is my kinda post. (and it does get easier!)

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  12. I'm crying! I seriously think you just typed my exact world! Lots of hugs from one overwhelmed-mom-of-super-close-together-babies to another!

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  13. One of the best posts. And I like Simon's jacket in the photo of a million chins.

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  14. Thank you! I've read that this is the "trenches" of parenthood... I have been having a tough day, but no, I wouldn't trade this for pre-kid days.

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  15. This post was a great idea. I love seeing your beautiful heart shine through here. Even though I am not a mom, your honest words encouraged my heart. Thanks.

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  16. I think about this kind of thing a lot these days, and I feel the same way. There were awesome things about pre-baby life, but for me so many of those awesome things were totally me-centered, and I didn't really begin to learn how to live life serving others until I experienced the self-sacrificing love that is motherhood. I feel like, at least for me, my life was somewhat flat - emotionally, everything was pretty good all the time. And now we add to that spectrum the emotions of terrifyingly awful all the way up to awe-inspiringly incredible. It's not worth losing the joy to go back to the complete freedom.

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  17. well, i'm glad you are raising saints instead of working on capitol hill b/c raising saints is so much funnier to read about. trust me, i work the office job with the commute and alone time. and am i funny? hell to the no. thank you for living your life in such a way that fulfills my need for bloggy entertainment.

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  18. Love that I think that's my brother & an old law school friend in that subway pic! Great contemplation on pre-baby life. It's brutal being a mother, but going back to before the days of these dear terrible delightful terrors would be simply awful. Loved hearing where your mama heart is!

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  19. I'm glad you posted this. I think we all consider whether we'd rather go back to those times with no real worries or concerns. And it's good to realize you'd choose today anyway.

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  20. Ain't it the truth?

    Honestly, I'd take night waking over hangovers any day now.

    All grown up.

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  21. Oh Grace- looks like you were having a blast. And I know so many of the people in those photos... I feel like I could alllllmost be there w/ you! I know what you mean-- as fun as my pre-child life was-- I would not trade a thing. Oh course- you said that in a much funnier way than I ever could!

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  22. I'm glad you published this post. I'm glad you publish all your posts in fact. And while you admire other blogs, we admire your blog! Keep writing Grace.

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  23. awwwee! love it! The part about multiple speech impediments made me laugh a little too hard. Hit so close to home!

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  24. I love this post. I love all of them really, you should know that. I was just having another blogger breakdown the other day.. the kind where you get sick of looking at everyone else's wonderful lives all the time. You know the one? The kind that make you envious and ungrateful of your own beautiful life.. and I was trying to figure out what the balance is. How do you write authentically, share your struggles and your voice without being negative, whiny or complain-y? And I actually think you do it really well. While I know your words are often dripping in sarcasm (which I also love) I've never felt like you're playing the victim or complaining about your life, though I'm certain it would be very easy to do.

    All of that to say that I really enjoy your perspective and your funny anecdotes. And I always look forward to reading your posts. Thanks, as always, for sharing bits of your life with us!

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  25. Yes. I'm glad you posted this. It does get so hard some days, and I find myself thinking about you at times (hope that's not weird to you, considering I only know you from the internet..), and wondering how I would handle a third kid thrown in the mix, plus a husband's crazy work schedule. Probably not well.

    Life before kids was fun and carefree. There was so much more time for myself, for doing whatever I wanted. But my heart wasn't as big.

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  26. What an awesome, honest, loving post, Grace. At other stages, we can say we "lose sleep" but it is nothing NOTHING like the baby-upon-baby-upon-toddler years of trying to do everything under the handicap of utter exhaustion. And yours are even closer than mine.

    I think I've said it before, but this is the kind of post that helps other mothers. And mothers of older children do everyone a disservice by sugarcoating the early years and remembering only the baking of bread and the sewing of quilts during perfectly quiet naptimes. We all share selectively, but your open heart will encourage many many other women today.

    It is all worth it, every single tear (yours and theirs).

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  27. "pajama-hobo-chic"! Ha! Where is the picture of those outfits??

    Yes, it does get easier. Hang in there. You'll get there. And then you'll be like me, a mess of a mom who starts to cry while trying to get toys together for a consignment sale because she realizes those tiny fingers that once played with that toy are gone forever never to return.

    It's easy to wish away the toddler years and just as easy to romanticize them when they are long gone. I'm just trying to enjoy each day. But it's so much easier to do when your kids are able to do virtually everything for themselves except drive the car to school! :)

    Prayers for a quick and painless end to this rotation.

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  28. awesome, awesome post. I have been reading for a while and love your sense of humor. I don't have any little cherubs of my own yet (aside from 20 8 year old students) but I can only imagine how hard it is. prayers for ya lady! keep on rockin' it.

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  29. loved this post- thank you! i am pregnant with my first child and sometimes feel like i'm 'girding up my loins' to prepare for the next few years of (hopefully, Lord willing) young children filling up our home. this was really encouraging to hear.

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  30. I just really love this post.

    (Oh, and FY to the I, Metro is still awful as ever. Because I know you wanted to know.)

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  31. "time flew when I was having fun and time will have flown when I was in the trenches and raising my little saints. " this one got me crying little 27-week tears :) Great post.

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  32. I totally feel the same way most days. I love being home with my kids but sometimes on bad days...I wish I could go out. Sometimes I look at them as making us saints...but you are right our goal is to raise saints. Check out this new onesie I made, I thought if it when I read this post. https://www.etsy.com/listing/123365261/saint-maker-onesie-3-6-month

    Hope your days get better!!!

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  33. Beautiful post! Just what I needed to hear today as my 2 year old and 13 week pregnant self are sick and hubby is gone until 10pm tonight! I even called my dad who lives 3.5 hours away to see if just maybe he had some free time on his hands to come take care of us. :) I have no shame. Blessings to you and your beautiful, awesome family!

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  34. I needed this today. It has been a trying week and today especially seems to be slowly sucking the life out of me, but you helped me remember that this is all worth it. I wouldn't go back to the other for anything, although sometimes I would love an hour off. I hope your month is over as of tonight and you get a little breather!

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  35. The next time anon goes on a rampage, I'm directing them to this post. You're awesome.

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  36. I love this post. You are wonderful, and I love you...two weeks until I get to see you! :)

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  37. This is your best post yet! So incredibly true. Right now, I feel like I have my toes dipped in both worlds: my youngest is five months and the neediest, must-be-attached-to-me-at-all-times baby I've ever had! But on the other hand, my oldest is six years old and will most likely go off to school in the fall. He can make his own breakfast, choose his outfits and we have pretty interesting conversations. I look at him and don't know how we got here so fast. Time is flying, even on the crazy days.

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  38. I LOVE THIS POST. As someone currently living the life of near-constant fun in DC, but getting married in May and planning to be where you are in the next few years, I related to pretty much everything you said.

    Grace, you normally go for humor over being deep, and I adore your humor, but you do deep really, really well. So next time you get a strike of inspiration at 3 in the morning, please hit publish! :)

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  39. This post resonates! You're absolutely spot on - while missing the glory that was my single 20s, I would trade a year of it for a day without Baby Warrior. I suspect there will be a few tears when they DON'T need us for much later.

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  40. Praying for you through the tough moments! It certainly does get easier - in some ways. But then you will look at your 6-year-old with no baby chub and look at the photos of them being a chubby 2-year-old and darn near burst into tears.

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  41. I love how real you are about being a Mom and the joys and frustrations that go along with it!

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  42. As I read this the toddler pulled all the wipes out of the wipes box. Thank you for posting this! Moms need this reminder in the midst of the crazy long monotony that is (sometimes)raising little kids.

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  43. Oh Grace, I am feeling the SAME way today! I had just pushed "publish" on a similar post and then wondered, "Oh, I am so ungrateful!". Thanks for the reminder that those 99 hour long days are common to lots of moms out there!

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  44. I have no fun working and single experiences, which I guess is a rarity nowadays. We got married in college and had our daughter a few weeks before my husband graduated. It's definitely a blessing that I have no "maybe the grass was greener" times to look back on!

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  45. Grace, I haven't commented on your posts before preferring to be an anonymous creeper, but this is awesome. I also did the Capitol Hill gig (with pretty much exactly your job description) and sometimes miss it, but at the end of the day when all is said and done, I know family is where meaning is at. Incidentally, I know Meghan Bowman as well. : ) I love that girl.

    Take care!

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  46. I def enjoyed this post. Love that it's deep but still funny (as per usual)...

    My fun days have drastically decreased since med school and married life, but I definitely can't relate to your madness with three crazy, cute lil' kiddos. At the same time, I can't wait to be a mom...

    And posts like these make me strongly reconsider OB-GYN, haha.

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  47. Awww. My favorite post ever. I'm so glad you and Simon found each other. I don't really know exacccctly what I'm in for once I start having babies, but once things get crazy, remind me to come back and read this post!

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  48. Beautiful, beautiful, true, honest, beautiful post.

    *hugs* to you.

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  49. Truth! These early years are rough (and I only have one!), but they are so worth it!

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  50. Awww you made me tear up! I cant help but think Simon must be so proud to have you as the mother of his rebels and his support woman in the trenches :-)
    I'm going to have to save this to reread on those days when I want nothing more than to go to the grocery store so I can hear another adult say something as intelligible as "paper or plastic mam?"

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  51. This is so beautiful! THANK YOU so much for hitting publish! You know, as scary as sleep deprivation sounds, I'm still really excited for the day I have my own children in my own house with my own husband. God bless you!

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  52. Love this post. I guarantee my life is way easier than yours, but I am feelIng every word you typed. Every time I am having a hard time I try to remind myself that someday soon I will miss these days. Thanks for reminding us all!

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  53. I didn't read all the comments. But I'm sure my "I'm so glad you did hit publish" will be added to a heap of others.

    I'm glad you hit publish.

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  54. I hope you publish these types of posts in the future, rather than delete them. Good stuff!

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  55. yes. times a million. and three cheers for Julia's unique sense of modesty...priceless.

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  56. Thank you for writing this! I quite often have similar feelings, but I wouldn't be able to put it so well.

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  57. One of my favorite posts! Fav line: "in my lenses that look suspiciously transitional"

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  58. I just love your blog. Found it recently through Apartment Therapy, and I can't get enough. Thank you!!

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  59. You should stop hitting 'delete' and instead hit 'publish' more often.
    :)

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  60. I love this post! I love your writing. Also ever think your older self will look back and miss these days?

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  61. Grace. I love this post. Love.
    That first picture brings back memories... summer nights at the Slice, wine, probably discussing our "long days" at work and other important things like where to go out and what to wear. Ending the night with girl talk and a frozen pizza. Haha and we really did think we were busy (and stressed)! Seems like ages ago.
    I needed this...a day where the biggest adventure was a trip to WalMart and an OB appt (made extra fun with a cranky and very curious toddler in tow). But like you said, we're gonna miss these days. Thank you for the beautiful post and wonderful reminder. The trenches seem less daunting knowing that they are full of allies.

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  62. Thanks for this. :) You are such an encouragement!

    On a side note, I found it hilarious that you were heading to DC on St Patty's Day with a guy I went to college with. Peter, second from the L in your photo. I graduated from Christendom that May.

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  63. Beautiful Grace...though my husband and I don't have kids yet, I look up to you moms staying at home raising your army of saints...keep it up sista!

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  64. So true. My husband and I often say we'd love to feel to go back to the freedom, but only if you could be completely ignorant of your life now!! While I do dearly miss lazy days and late nights and adults I love my wee man more than anything I could imagine!

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  65. These types of posts are SUCH a good idea; I always love your honesty, but this is takin' it to the next level. Thank you, Grace!

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  66. Love this one. (Also love seeing a surprise JPII classmate in there - looking cute JH!!) Agreed -would not trade it ever...not even tempting. Did love my solo doc appt today though...spot on. You will be laughing with your Julia in no time! Rock on Grace.

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  67. I can really feel how tough to raise 3 kids but I think you are a tough mom and you'll get through this. It's not forever that they're toddlers. Wishing you the best. Your kids are adorable!

    eypolapol.tumblr.com

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  68. 1) I love this post. Mostly because it reminds me that when I say, "I'm sooooo busy!!!!" that someday (hopefully!) I will get to laugh at my single life and thinking it was "busy"... because yea. I'm not really that busy.

    2) Did you seriously live in 1319?! BECAUSE ONE OF MY FRIENDS LIVES THERE RIGHT NOW!!! And no joke... I just drove there TODAY to drop off her Costco card. I'VE BEEN SOMEWHERE WHERE GRACE PATTON'S FEET HAVE TRED. Epic.

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  69. this is so sweet..and you are a saint, just so you know. i'm loving these old school pics. long live the razr! i had the pink one, they don't make'em like that anymore...mine last YEARS. now i think they self destruct after two years (aka conveniently when contracts end).

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  70. Loved this post pretty mamma. I've been feeling like this a lot lately. It's going TOO FAST.

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  71. I think this is my favorite post you've written. You are SO right. Single/dating life was so fun, so easy, filled with plenty of travel & shopping (&sleep!) yet I wouldn't go back either. And you are an awesome mom and dealing with a lot of tough stuff (husband that works all the time + 3 little ones) and not sleeping makes everything harder, so glad this month is over for you and hope next month is better :).

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  72. i'm sure others have said it in the comments that i'm admitting i didn't read through, and i know it sounds flippant and trite, but... it really does get easier. or at least different and sometimes, miraculously, quieter. and if in five years, when they just maybe can put on their own socks AND SHOES!!!! you say that it hasn't gotten easier, i'll personally buy you a bottle of wine : )

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  73. Thank you for posting such a real look at motherhood. I'm not a mom yet, but I can't even imagine having three kids so close in age with a husband in residency. You are amazing to do what you do and still find the time to write funny, insightful blog posts. Hope you can get some rest!

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  74. Ah yes. I, too, have a pre-baby DC past filled with uncomplicated and wonderfully selfish memories. Sometimes I think about it with nostalgia, but most of the time I can see that it is BECAUSE OF the more difficult moments at present (life overseas with two little ones), the sweet moments seem even sweeter. This is something I never could have understood "back in the day".

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  75. Thanks for the reminder. I needed it today.

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  76. Fantastic post to start my day! I think there are very few of us who would trade our little(s) for our younger days. Thank you for writing about it and sharing your 3am thoughts!

    Also-night float is the worst invention of the residency world.

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  77. Love your honesty!!!

    Keep it coming !

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  78. My Dear Friend...I so hear you!! The toil of everyday living doing the same things over and over again, dealing with crisis after crisis, trying to manage the intense needs of three different souls and then try to shower, clean the house and prepare a meal on top of it all is almost too much for one woman to bear.

    But you do it, because you love them and they deserve the BEST of you. These are hard years but looking back now I can say they are some of the sweetest years. I know you can't see and that's OK, you're not supposed to. you are supposed to be present fully and completely and not worry about the future. One day at a time. One diaper change at a time. One bedtime story at a time. ONe unique manicure by Julia at a time. One bathroom adventure with Basher at a time. One nursing snuggle with Theo at a time. It's how it's meant to be.

    Be where you are fully and with all you have. Exhaustion will come and stay for a long while, but there are saints to raise. It's the hardest and the BEST job on the planet.

    So keep being honest and keep loving with all you have!
    Hugs from Virginia!

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  79. Every word of this is true. And let me tell you - it gets easier. But it also gets harder in a different way. Parenting in general is HARD. No matter what stage you are in. And just when you think you've got it - the little stinkers grow and change and all the rules become different again. People start becoming independent, but then you have 4 different people playing 4 different sports, all at the SAME.TIME. And you start looking at colleges for your oldest son, who was just a toddler a few years ago and is not WAY taller than you and is becoming a MAN. A man, I tell you!. And suddenly, he's going to be leaving, and your proud and worried and proud and happy and sad (and did I mention proud?!) all at the same time. And your other people are growing up, too. And you start having conversations with your youngest about what it will be like in a few years to be the "only" at home. And it's strange and wonderful all over again. So my philosophy is to wallow and relish in the time you're in. Every age has its own awesomeness and its own challenges. And in the end, we ARE raising saints. And there is nothing better than that.

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  80. Some days being home with ONE baby is exhausting I cannot even imagine three! But even on those tough days their is nothing like being a mom!

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  81. “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” Freud


    I try to remember this when I feel like my kids will NEVER hush up and the struggle never seems to end

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  82. Love this! A few weeks ago my younger sister, a 20-something singleton, told me that she had so many social plans for the upcoming weekend that she was worried about the toll it would take on her body- because she was going into the weekend already exhausted. Right. I just about hung up on her. It's all good. As I always say (in truth sometimes and laced with sarcasm other times), "I'm living the dream!" Keep on keeping on. We'll get through this!

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  83. from a mama of one, wanting to have more-but kinda scared for what it brings...thanks for keeping it real :)
    www.sophandlulu.com

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  84. I am a first time mom. And now 8 weeks in, I get hit with the thoughts of... Wait.. I can't ever go back? It will never be just me again. As a sahm I have freak outs about how much motherhood seems to be tucking away the old me and replacing her with someone I don't know yet. Would I go back? Never a chance. But I can relate to all that you've said. You are such a good Mom, Grace! Thank you for writing such an honest post.

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  85. Thanks :) very good. hard to remember for me.

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  86. J'adore your blog!! Found it via my lovely fellow Raven, the HuffPo dynamo Paige Kellerman.

    Though I'm thus far kid/husbandless, I hope someday I can make the transition from selfishly carefree to awesome madre and wife as well as you have. The candor of this post is much appreciated.

    P.S. Pleeeeeease don't stop blogging like you threatened the other day, because I'm one of your (many adoring/creeping) followers that doesn't comment, but mos def relies on you to entertain me while plodding through the workday at my desk. I find your humor relatable, your writing impeccable, and your little ones adorable!

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  87. As fellow significant other of a medical-type student, I fear for the days when rotations take him away for 80 hours or more each week. Reading this makes me feel like I won't be alone in my distast for it, at least!

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  88. Having 4 young kiddos I hear you! But, I am here to assure you that it WILL get better! Just like you, I heard people telling me that and then I would look at my 2 year old twins rolling in baby powder while my colicky newborn was screaming her head off and think - no, this will never end, I've died and gone to hell and I am paying for all of my sins! And then they turned 3 and baby turned 1 and I thought maybe I could see the light, but no, it was definitely a double pink line on the pregnancy test and I was indeed reassured that I was in fact spending my days in Dante's Inferno. NOW, however, the twins are FIVE and it is the best age ever! They not only put on their own socks, they help dress the littles as well. They run upstairs to fetch diapers and ... wait for it ... potty on their own and WIPE THEIR OWN BUTTS! My 3 year old is trouble on wheels, and my 20 month old is into everything - and yes, yes, older stages bring their own host of struggles, but it is true that overall it gets easier. You can do it! You ARE doing it! You're rocking it and handling it with so much more grace and humor than I ever did! Keep writing it - especially these posts, so that you can look back and remember and see how far you have all come! You're awesome!

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  89. You should publish more of these! I loved reading this one!!!! :) Plus I loved the old pictures..and Theo looks sooo adorable!!!!!!

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