As we sit here and reflect on the past month, it feels a bit like overflow. Disneyland, Addy started day care, pumpkin patch (times two), costume parades, festivals, a birthday, and a half birthday. We're each trying to hold everything together, or trying to hold everything in.
|Disney California Adventure - October 7, 2021|
Our biggest beastie is the most obvious example of this. He is doing great in kindergarten, making new friends, learning new skills, and he got to ride all kinds of new things at Disneyland. His high-energy personality has him going a mile a minute... all the time. He struggles with patience and not being the center of attention. (We know, how unusual!)
|Meeting Spidey - October 4, 2021|
How this is coming out is most obvious on school nights. He comes home and his mood is balancing on a razor-thin edge. One tiny issue and he lets loose all the pent up emotions. Usually this looks like yelling at us, trying to steal things from Imogen, or full on sobbing. As an example, today (on Halloween - day full of fun things, which he knows), a temporary tattoo didn't work right and had a tear during transfer. This resulted in such a meltdown that he had to take a ten minute calm down time. Nearly ten minutes of screaming, sobbing, writhing on the floor. We are not exaggerating.
After he expresses his emotions, he can usually rally. When we're able to get him to take that alone time proactively, it's even better. Telling a five-year-old to take a voluntary time out though... not the easiest. Especially right when we come home and he wants to do seven things at once. (Not including a deep breath.)
Imogen is four! She's becoming a big kid and she knows it. She tries to keep up with Everett and understandably has some jealousy issues when she can't. According to her teachers at preschool, she's doing well and is fitting in well with friends. This is so great to hear because we can't always trust what she tells us. Her FOMO is so intense, that nearly everything Everett tells us about school she insists she is doing as well. Everett has a 4th grade "big buddy" at school. Imogen now says the tallest girl in her class is her "big buddy."
|Miguel at Disneyland - October 6, 2021|
She's testing the boundaries of her control. Let's rephrase - she's trying to control every aspect of everyone in the family, all the time. We are constantly talking with her about what her choices are, and what she is not in charge of. As always - how much of this is normal four-year-old stuff and how much is new sister stuff? The world is getting bigger, and it makes sense that she's trying to exert control.
Imogen had an amazing birthday party with friends, and eight days later has still not opened all her presents. That's totally fine. There is SO MUCH going on in her life, and presents can wait.
Ah, our old friend separation anxiety. It isn't in full swing, but it is starting. Mommy walks away? WAHHHHHH! No one playing with me? Sometimes I'm fine with that, sometimes I AM NOT! Just like big sister, Itsy Bitsy is exploring her world - by scooting around and putting all the things in her mouth.
|First Day Care Art - October 25, 2021|
Honestly, Adelaide is probably doing the best at emotional regulation right now! Such a happy girl.
Chris & Elizabeth
October is a hard month. Balancing all the festive fall things with Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is draining. Somehow we don't feel like we're doing enough for any of our kids, and we know the next few months don't bring a reprieve. We missed the virtual Service of Remembrance, we were late lighting our candle for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. It hurts to have to decide whether to prioritize or living children or the memory of the one not here.
|Adding to the art display at California Adventure - October 4, 2021|
It leaks out. We sometimes snap at each other or the kids. We don't communicate as well as we should. We get frustrated.
The bright side we focus on is that the stress will fade, and the happy memories will stay longer. Two years ago, Elizabeth had her first D&C. That's not what comes to mind first though... first we think about the pumpkin patch, Immy's Wreck-it-Ralph birthday party, times with friends and family, and trick-or-treating.
|Pumpkin Patch #1 - October 3, 2021|
So here's to making happy memories! And when the stress, overwhelm, guilt, and grief ooze out, we'll keep trying to give grace to ourselves and each other.
And if anyone has the secret to keeping it all together, it'd be great if you could share it.
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