Friday, 26 April 2013

7 Quick Takes: Reflection on the Week

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 151)

With thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting - head over there to read a whole load of other Quick Takes and post your own!

Whisper of the Heart (1995) Poster

Please be under no illusions that this will be a spiritual reflection! I just had the urge to purge the last 7 days quickly, in retrospect. Things change quickly when you have a newborn - it's easy to lurch from disaster to joy within hours, or even minutes. I think it's important to regularly take stock and recognise this, and how life in general can twist and  turn, for better and for worse, with God always ready to let us lean on him if we let him. (I'm leaving others to comment on the Boston tragedy, and staying firmly within my domestic bubble, but yes, there's an analogy there.) Saturday, for example, I was hugely fed up, waiting for the double dose of medication that neither pharmacist we went to had in on Friday after the doctor had been out to visit me. I was feeling exhausted as par for the course, and battling an infection. Part of me was glad I missed out on our weekly movie night, as when I heard the soundtrack drifting up to where I was resting, I knew my hormones and emotions would just have erupted in tears if I was downstairs actually watching the film. When I was pregnant with 1stSister, you see, driving around Teeside in my little green Nissan Micra helping conducting an education of schools and pupil referral units, I used to listen to 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' and other John Denver songs which evoked home. 'Whisper of the Heart', which was the chosen DVD on Saturday, has a version of this song. As with other Studio Ghibli films (Totoro and Ponyo being firm favourites we have watched time and time again) the girls enjoyed this slightly older themed movie, and have been singing 'Country Roads' all week ~ delightful (although not at the dinner table...)


By Sunday my medications were already starting to kick instead in, thankfully, but as Church was not a sensible option so we spent family time watching Veggie Tales and enjoying a Sunday brunch with eggs, bacon, grilled tomatoes and hash browns, and later a roast dinner with pork fillet, apple sauce, roast potatoes, Yorkshire Puddings, broccoli, sweetcorn and gravy. Actually sitting enjoying meals together with  all four sisters and FabDad* was absolutely huge progress, and I feel I needed feeding up to get well - there doesn't seem to be time to sit down and eat as much as I want to during the week...


Rocket by Stagg Junior Drum Kit 5 Piece in Red
Junior Drum Kit for 2ndSister
Monday was a day with just new 4thSister and I, as the elder girls were at school and 3rdSister went to my Mum's to play for the day. As to be expected though, much of the time she was sleeping and I also got to catch up on things like labelling 1stSister's gear for her Brownie Pack holiday this weekend, ordering 2ndSister a £99 Junior Drum Kit for her 7th birthday, and so on. My Aquanatal pals who have had their first children the same time as mine express disbelief I can manage the needs of three other children and a newborn. I've explained it's not like I have four newborns to deal with, but to be honest it's more a case of having to get everything else done or the house of cards will dramatically collapse. Like it did on Wednesday (don't skip ahead though, I'm sure Tuesday is interesting...)


Tuesday was a success story of sorts. I walked to Pre-school and back with 3rdSister & with 4thSister in the pram. 3rdSister enjoyed pushing the pram and obediently held onto the toddler handle when we crossed roads. It was an exhausting round trip for 4 weeks postpartum/post-C-Section but I'd been building up to it as I knew FabDad had a university meeting and couldn't do the preschool run. It also meant I could go to the corner shop! And buy items! With money! And talk to people! Outside of the home! Hooray!


Wednesday. This, dear reader, was a terrible day. Not really terrible, but think having a newborn, and having the type of day you have when your husband returns to work for the first time, and everything falls apart. Although I'd been doing well since his paternity leave finished 2 weeks ago, on Wednesday FabDad caught the Nottingham to London train early in the morning and all the many, extremely helpful things he does, including:
  • dressing 3rdSister;
  • serving breakfast;
  • supervising dishwasher duty;
  • changing the steriliser;
  • preparing formula powder into containers;
  • pre-filling bottles with boiled water;
  • helping with laundry;
  • doing any lifting that needs doing;
  • taking 3rdSister to the bathroom
and myriad other household tasks that sadly don't perform themselves, were done by me over the course of the day. This can all be done, of course. Even with 3rd and 4thSister at home all day and 3rdSister having a friend come to play in the morning and 4thSister missing her sleep windows and screaming and needing to be held and then needing extra feeds and me having to change dinner plans and not being sure if I could even get frozen pizza cooked and served and by the way did I explain how 3rd and 4thSister were napping at the same time upstairs so I could finally get my lunch and I was trying to multitask several things including my own lunch and burned it, setting off the very loud smoke alarm? (And breathe.) Luckily the Sisters stayed asleep in the chaos but HONESTLY this was the pace of the day and I'm very glad every day is not like Wednesday. I'm very glad to have a husband. I'm very glad to have a husband who helps as much as he does. And that disaster days like these don't come everyday (although to be honest, with a newborn, they are always on the cards!)


I just love this photo of 1stSister (8)
and 4thSister (4 weeks)

Thursday - and a little respite. I don't know what it was, but by 3.30pm, two washloads, quality time with 3rdSister and a good cup of coffee, things felt doable again and I felt ready for another round. Even when things slipped off schedule, and the amount of 'stuff' that needed doing seemed overwhelming, nothing was insurmountable. To me, that's where God's grace comes in. Just at the moment you think you can't handle it, you get a free pass. Things are OK again. Well, until the next day :-)


And so it's Friday. Baby Joseph came home to Fulwiler Towers last week, yay! People over the world are having babies and readjusting to life. I'm not even sure I can call 4thSister a newborn now that she's four weeks, and is past her birth weight. Today, the flak might hit the fan, or things might go more smoothly than expected. Life will go on. Amen.

* I think I'm going to call my husband this from now on for the purposes of this blog; it's silly rather than hero-worship, I think, as the Sisters once bought him a mug with this on for Father's Day which happens to be one of my favourites to drink out of and I steal at every opportunity. However, he is a Fab Dad, as you can tell from my writing about this past week, and it sits right with me. (It sounded better than FirstHusband, anyway!)


  1. #5 my husband was very helpful too, but he doesn't was floors or toilets. Incredibly had to cook anything with an infant.

  2. Renee, I'm amazed we are doing as well as we are. I'll accept any help I can get at the moment - FabDad is currently changing 2ndSister's bedlinen as I would struggle to reach the top bunk still :-)