Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Life with a newborn and prioritizing

While my mom was here we made sure to do a few things. We visited Temple Square and went to the new Whole Foods Market just around the corner(that was my favorite part...I LOVE browsing health food stores!), we had her brother and his wife over for green smoothies, we made lots of yummy and healthy foods, we went out to eat(and Scott and I agreed that from here on out, when we go out to eat it'll just be me and him on a date, or with other adults, because not only is eating out with our whole family expensive, but it's stressful :)) and we visited Kennecott Copper Mine. The day we went to the copper mine, there was a tour bus there with monks from Taiwan. They all wore long brown robes and had shaved heads or at least hair that was buzzed really short. It seemed to me that some of them were women, though I'm not positive. Anyway, when they saw my kids, several of them rushed over and started pulling them together and taking pictures of them :). Perhaps being with children is rare for them, or maybe it's because I have blonde-haired and blue eyed kids and maybe they don't see that too often, I'm not really sure, but those monks were sure sweet and cute. I wished I could speak their language so I could ask them questions about their lives. And I wish I would've pulled out my camera soon enough and got pictures with them before they took off.

My mom went home on Sunday and so we've been on our own for a few days. I haven't had to make dinner from scratch since she's left, I've just been pulling out frozen meals I made before hand which has been really nice. Nora is so sweet and cute and I love holding her, but it's hard to get things done with only one free hand/arm and she likes to be held a lot during the day. Night time is a different story and she'll sleep in her crib and wake up twice to eat and then go right back to sleep. I'm grateful she's not awake for long periods of time during the night and it'll be nice once she's actually sleeping through the night.

The kids also went back to school this week which I think was perfect timing. There are moments during our day that seem a little too busy or chaotic, like just before the kids leave to school in the morning and we're trying to get hair done, people dressed, kids fed and breakfast cleaned, sometimes while holding Nora or feeding Nora, but then there are other times where nobody needs me to do anything for them except Nora who just wants to be held and I cherish those moments. Of course I love all my kids and enjoy being with them, but it's also nice to get some one-on-one time and not have so many people needing me all at once. When the kids get home from school, they like to have some Nora time as well. This picture of Elisabeth and Nora was taken while they were off track and the kids could lounge in their pjs during the morning.

I have found that in order for me to get things done during the day, I have to first of all, prioritize. Many times I'll make a list on paper that I can cross stuff off, and then I start those things early on in the day, in order of importance and I find that I can usually get half the stuff done that'd I'd like to. Once Nora is older and not so dependent I'll be able to complete the entire list again. So in order of priority, here are the things on my list today and keep in mind that Nora's needs and the needs of my kids and hubby are always a priority, though they're never on my check list. Some of these things I do while holding Nora or nursing her. She nurses about every two hours during the day and needs a diaper change at every feeding so it feels like her needs are almost constant, which is about right...though I know it won't be that way for very long. I get a lot more personal reading time in when I nurse which has been nice. Also, Jane is potty training which means she is also a high priority right now and when she has to go, we go! The list:

-read scriptures (I do this in bed)
-crunches and weights(in bedroom before kids wake up)
-help kids(breakfast, fix hair, make green smoothies, get them out the door for school)
-clean kitchen
-load of laundry
-aerobic exercise 45 min (elliptical and rebounder or Zumba or Tae Bo. I want to see how fast I can lose the baby weight when I combine eating whole foods with daily exercise)
-walk 1 hour(I do this with some other women in the neighborhood. I have Annabelle and Jane in the double stroller and then I wrap Nora to me in our Moby Wrap...we usually stop half way through for a 10 minute play break at the park before finishing our walk. Oh and today, when I was putting Nora into my wrap she spits up all over herself and me. She was drenched so I had to stop, wipe off her eyes, cheeks, chin, face and change all of her clothes...but I wasn't drenched so I didn't change my clothes for the time being :))
-shower and get ready
-pick up Charlie from school(yes I have to write down to pick up Char from school because I have forgotten a couple of times :)...half day kindergarten is hard for me to remember)
-make and clean up after lunch
-Put Jane down for a nap
-write a blog--I only got half way through writing my blog and then I didn't get anything else done on my list for the day though I still wanted to accomplish several things. Even though I cleaned the kitchen in the morning and after lunch, when Scott got home the kitchen was no longer clean, though the rest of the house managed to stay somewhat clean and orderly. Our afternoons are usually our quietest because Jane is sleeping, I try and get Nora to sleep, the other two do quiet activities and school work and Elisabeth is at school. Once we get to around 3pm, life is really busy again: monitoring 2 piano lessons for 30 minutes each, snacks for kids, helping with homework while feeding Nora, changing diapers, trying to get dinner on and so on.

Once the kids are in bed around 830pm, Scott and I like to visit with each other and then sometimes we'll read or fold laundry together or clean the kitchen together etc, but it's almost always together. I'm glad that even after nearly 9 years of marriage and 5 kids, we still love to be together.

Here are a couple of random pictures from our past week and a short video of Jane:

1.) Elisabeth wanted to learn how to make a fleece tie blanket and she decided to make one for Annabelle. We picked out Rapunzel fleece material for the project. Elisabeth and I worked on it together and finished it in about an hour. Annabelle was so pleased!
2.) Jane is obsessed with any kind of fleece tie blanket and keeps trying to carry Annabelle's around which does not usually end in sisterly love. We're trying to teach Jane that some of the fleece tie blankets are hers, and some belong to other people :). Not an easy concept to learn at age 2.
3.) Here is Jane wearing Annabelle's tank top and Elisabeth's socks. She loves sharing a room with 2 older sisters because she can fit into all of their clothes...needless to say, their room will be perfectly clean one moment, then Jane will enter and within seconds it looks as if a tornado has just passed through.

 And here is a short clip of Jane pretending to be a Tiger. She makes a very cute tiger.


The Horne's said...

Hey Elisa,
I TOO love reading while I nurse. It's great time to just be still and quiet and get some reading in, because it's much harder during the day to fit it in. :-)
Also, you will do 45 min of exercise and THEN walk for an hour? Wow. I guess I wasn't sure how long I need to wait to work out. I guess I don't need to keep waiting? I tore pretty bad so I was waiting until my 6 week appt. But maybe I can start sooner. I lost 23 lbs the first week - and haven't lost a single pound since. :-( I think it's going to be a challenge for me. I am SO starving I really can't feel satisfied. It's frustrating because I know I'm overeating so probably not losing the weight, but I'm almost beside myself STARVING during the day. :-(

Angela said...

Wow! I got worn out while reading about your days. Oh, how I wish I could be around to help. GREAT idea about not taking the kids out to dinner. I don't believe we did that except maybe to a fast food place on occasion. We used to get a baby sitter just to go grocery shopping at night for a date. I wish I could tell you that things will settle down, but with 5 kids, I'm not sure it ever will:) You and Scott have great attitude and I brag on you all of the time about what a good job you are doing with the kids. I love you all!

Elisa said...

Heidi, I tore too and had some stitches, though I'm not sure how much I tore. With all my babies, I just kinda start slow(but right away) and see how I feel. The first week I only walked and kinda slow. But after that first week I really didn't feel any pain at all in any position I was sitting/standing/squatting so I felt comfortable doing more. If anything ever hurts, I take it easy, but so far I've found that I do really well if I can get right back into exercising again. That stinks that you feel like you're starving all the time. I don't feel very hungry most of the time, though I'm also eating high protein foods like a lot of nuts and seeds and avocados etc, and I've found that drinking about 32 oz of green smoothie helps keep my cravings under control(among other things).

CJ said...

I think you are a super woman Elisa. I don't know how you do all that you do. Well... I suppose eating well and exercising is probably a big part of it! Good for you for making those things a priority and making them happen. It is so smart to know that you have to take care of yourself first sometimes to even begin to take care of your kids. That make sense but I am still working on getting that to sink in. :) I tend to put my kids first, myself last, and then caring for myself doesn't happen, and I think for that reason, a lot of the time I'm a pretty lousy, low-energy mom. But this really inspires me, I am going to try better this week to make myself more of a priority.

That video of Jane is hilarious and adorable. She is so funny!