Well, I would apologize for being scarce, but truthfully...I'm not sorry, not one little bit :o)
I've been busy, you know.
Doing what, you ask?
I've been watching as a sweet little girl discovers her world. Marveling at perfection wrapped up in the form of sweet smelling baby smells, tiny newborn diapers, and lots of snuggly pink pajamas.
Watching older brothers learn the art of comforting a baby in awkward boyish arms and older sisters swoop in at the first cry of distress.
Almost wishing for tiny baby cries to give me an excuse to snuggle down in the covers for a nap.
Delighting in a tiny body scrunching up into a yawn and a stretch that seems much too big for such a little girl.
Encouraging the use of a thumb in a hopeful attempt to avoid the paci addiction that plagues our house to this day.
And changing diapers, lots of diapers. And being reminded of that curious newborn quirk of filling a clean diaper as soon as you snap that last snap.
Rubbing my nose in super soft, jet black baby hair, anxiously awaiting the day there's enough to justify the use of a cute barette.
Delighting in the miracle of satiny baby palms wrapped around my finger, holding on for dear life.
Listening to baby breaths and tiny baby sighs.
Kissing perfectly round baby cheeks and imprinting the feel of their fulness in my heart.
Storing up memories of the size and feel of a newborn sleeping flopped over my shoulder or snuggled against me with milk running down the sides of her cheek.
Laughing at all those silly faces babies make in their sleep and wondering how I could have ever forgotten about them.
The look of a milk-drunk baby, completely satisfied and oblivious to the laughs and kisses surrounding her.
Rescuing her from well meaning three year olds and almost two year olds.
Reminding myself that "this too shall pass" and not knowing if I should be comforted or grieved...a little of both, I suppose.
Wishing I could just stop time and wondering how I'll ever deal with the days when there are no more of my own babies to hold and thinking I need to be strongly encouraging my children to have lots of children and live close by.
Being overwhelmed with gratitude that she is here, and perfect, when she came so close to being lost.
Trying really, really hard to sear this time into my memory so as to recall with perfect clarity what these days are like. Telling myself I will not forget...I will not forget...
The days and weeks following the birth of our babies are probably my favorite times in life. I can't find words to describe it, but it's as if there is a bubble surrounding that time, it almost feels sacred. Of course after the birth of my first, and probably my second, it was much more difficult and felt overwhelming, but since then it's always just a time of being still, in body and spirit, and I treasure each of those times and memories.
One of the greatest benefits to me of having so many babies is how normal it begins to feel :o) With each baby I am able to relax more, take all the hormone fluctuations in stride (for the most part!), and just spend time enjoying each new little person. The laundry can wait, the blogging can wait, everything can wait. I have learned that that sweet, snuggly newborn stage is so fleeting that I just want to take it all in, store it up in my heart, and revel in it. Even now, each new day, I wish I could just re-live it. I so wish I could just stop time, right here, today, right now. It's going to pass by so fast and I can hardly stand it. I could just stay here, snuggling this tiny baby body, forever. She's already almost eleven pounds! I just need time to slow down, please...just for awhile.
I am always amazed at how all of our babies look so much alike, even the boys and girls. Check out this first photo of Grace, and then the following one of Haven. It's a good thing I've labeled all our baby photos, because there are so many photos that if I hadn't labeled them, I would have no idea who it was. Especially among the boys who have passed down a lot of outfits.
Baby Grace and her polka dot pajamas :o)
So now you all know where I've been and what I've been doing. You also probably know why I keep having babies :o)
Birth story to follow soon...promise.