Two days ago, which was Thursday, I thought it was Wednesday...all day long. I made scheduling calls for a project I'm running, I made plans for studying that night, and I did all of the other things that I would have done had it been the day I thought it was...Wednesday. This isn't the first time since the baby invasion that I've lost track like this and I'm afraid it will not be the last. We have developed an irritating little habit of forgetting to feed Eliot dinner until she gently reminds us around 8:30 or so that she is about to start gnawing on the furniture if we don't get her some food. A few weeks ago, several pieces of our clothes, Eliot's blankets, and a few other things had to be thrown back in the dirty clothes pile right after they came out of the wash. Apparently, somebody forgot to put detergent in the machine and everything that came out smelled like baby vomit...awesome.
Yes, the baby invasion is taking its toll on our sanity. It is taking its toll on our everything, actually...energy, patience, sanity, civility...say goodbye! School started up last Monday and is in full swing for the next two months, Eliot is losing interest in her new role as daughter-in-waiting - very stressful, the inconsistency of our day-to-day has become a consistent source of frustration, and cabin fever has struck Casey with a vengeance - she left the house one time last week...one time! All in all, this experience has begun to tug at the ties that bind.
Despite all of this, we have found some peace amidst the storm as a sliver of light has appeared at the end of this tunnel. It's merely a dot on the horizon at the moment, but it is there nonetheless, and it has provided us with renewed focus and a renewed sense of what life will be like once survival mode is a distant, laughable memory. Among other little improvements that have come in the last few days and/or weeks, Ryan's colic seems to have settled a bit, all of them are sleeping slightly longer stretches at night, and all are smiling, cooing, and gurgling with great regularity, we've settled into a night routine that is more manageable than before, and there is a plan in place for Casey to get some time outside the house on a daily basis. None of this was happening or could have been managed just two weeks ago, but now it is and we plan on taking full advantage. It's possible, rather it is likely, that these whispers of future freedom are the source of much of the frustration of late. We're an impatient bunch, no doubt, and the hints of progress bring with them much anticipation of better days! And that sliver of light? I have to admit that it is more than just a sliver and it is more than just light...it is soul. Here is what we see when we look around the room at the faces that have already begun to shape our future:
Brooklyn Faith - She has the most unique look of all of the babies - huge eyes, wide lips, chubby cheeks, and male pattern baldness...adoreable! As you know, she also has the sweetest little cry we've ever heard. She has developed a taste for her hands which can be found in her mouth, sometimes both of them and sometimes the whole fist, almost all of the time whether she is hungry or not. Maybe it's just the cry that leads us this way, but we think she is going to be our sensitive one, the crier who just wants everyone to be nice.
Britton Grace - Baby Bright Eyes is living up to her name, though today I started calling her Bobbles. Her eyes shine bright, seemingly all the time, and with her teency, tiny frame she almost looks like a caricature. I'm calling her Bobbles because she loves to stand up and when she does, her growing dome is too much for her little body and constantly bobbles as she looks out at the world. She is the one who we believe will give Eliot a run for her money in the personality department!
Jack William - Just call him ice because he is super cool, all the time. Seriously, Casey and I laugh that if he was our only baby, we'd forget that we had one at all. He lays back, taking it all in, never fussing unless he is hungry. When he is hungry, he eats - no fighting the bottle for this guy who often feeds himself with a bottle propped against the arm of the chair. He is built like a bowling ball and when you hold him he feels like one, too. Big boy doesn't talk much, but when he does, it is sweet as can be. We don't think he could have been designed more perfectly for life with five little girls competing for rule of the roost!
Lila Addison - Another little chill bug, Lila is generally kicked back, eyes wide open, watching the chaos swirl around her. With her blond hair, big eyes, and perfect little face she is in competition for the prettiest of the bunch. Just about everyone who comes through here says she looks like Eliot and we agree. Almost every time she falls asleep, she does so with her hands and fingers laid out like she just got a manicure and she's waiting for her nails to dry...funny! She is a sweetheart who never seems to be too bothered by much, but we haven't quite figured her personality out just yet. I guess we'll have to wait and see...
Ryan Elizabeth - She used to be Ryan the Lion because of her constant roar. Now, she is Ryan the Smilin', Cryin' Lion because that's all she ever does - cries or smiles...no in between. She'll go from screaming so loud you think she's going to pop to smiling the biggest, flirty smile you've ever seen and back to screaming in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, her crying doesn't come in two hour spurts anymore...thank the Lord! Britton and Eliot better keep their eye on this little firecracker if they hope to continue their diva dominance!
As the metaphor goes, we are still climbing the mountain and probably will be for awhile. But the terrain seems to have leveled out a bit, the trees are clearing, and we can finally see clearly the first of what is sure to be many summits on the path that lies ahead. We still could use your prayers, we still needs loads of help to make it through each new day, and we continue to rely on God's provision to help us enjoy the craziness we call life. But as these five little lights, souls of the most innocent kind, continue to teach us how beautiful this life can be, we cannot help but feel fearfully, wonderfully blessed.