Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Adjusting to Life as a Family of 6

Two weeks down as a family of 6 and so far I have survived it. Everyone else has too. Of course next week might be completely different as Joe will be back to work and all of the children are home on vacation. So I won't really get a feel for how day to day life will be with a newborn for another week and a half. However, given the challenges that have been thrown at me in the past two weeks I'm sure we'll make it through.

So lets see we've got Natalie who's full swing in that pre-teen mode. Honestly Natalie and I have had a rough go of things for a while and since she started middle school it has gotten worse. Her grades haven't been where she really wants them to be or where I would like them to be. We have sat down now and had a conference with a few of her teachers. I think now that Natalie knows that I know what her teachers expect of her things will begin to look up. I could definitely do without the back talk from her, but I know that is only going to get worse as time goes on. Just going to have to hope that she doesn't talk to anyone else the way she talks to me and so far that has not been an issue. So we'll keep plugging along. As Joe likes to tell me Natalie and I are so much alike which is why we butt heads so much. This is true.

Then we have Kaitlyn. She is doing well in school this year so because of that we've been focusing on a little more personal responsibility with her. Many times it feels like it's just completely going over her head though. Last week a homework assignment never got handed in. She did it. It was checked, but it never made it in her backpack. It didn't seem to bother her any either. I asked her teacher for the homework assignment again, but because he adjusts things for her level he wasn't exactly sure what it was and just asked that she try doing both sides of the homework he had sent home yesterday. It really wasn't too much of a punishment for her I'm afraid. So now I am checking her backpack daily until I decide that this does not need to be done any longer.

CJ probably has been the hardest for Joe to deal with. Since having Alyssa most of his care has fallen on Joe. And unfortunately for Joe CJ has been sick the past few days. He has a double ear infection and it's a bad one. I must admit it has been very hard for me to not baby him and mother him. He doesn't want me much though and being the only one who can feed Alyssa I can't really be there for him. It is breaking my heart though because Joe has been losing his patience with CJ and I know CJ is just trying to figure out his place. He loves his baby sister though and still continues to be so sweet with her. He has been very demanding and whiney though. When you tell him to do something he asks you why. Very much a toddler response though, but he also very much ignores what he's told to do. And then add to that a miserable little boy the past few days have been interesting.

Then we have little Alyssa. She's really doing great. I am worried about Joe's bonding with her. She really seems to like being with him, but he seems a little disconnected from her. I think that is because with all of the other kids he has been able to feed them from the beginning. We are exclusively breastfeeding this time though so that leaves the feeding up to me and so far 90% of diaper changes and calming her when she's fussy. I do feel like Joe is actually better at calming her down though and I wish he would take more of an initiative in doing that, but then again I guess I don't want to only deal with a baby when it's fussy. Alyssa is quite a good baby though. She really only wakes up most nights once during the night which I so appreciate. She is getting the color in her eyes and so far it looks like she's got Joe's deep dark blue eyes. Although, I think all of our children have started out with that color and so far only Kaitlyn has kept that clear blue eye color. Both Natalie and CJ have the green flecks in their eyes like I do. I still think Alyssa looks a lot like CJ. I kind of hope her hair stays dark. I'm not holding out hope that it will though.

So this is our life as a family of 6 now. We are all growing and learning and figuring this all out. In some ways 2 weeks seems so long ago and in others it seems like just yesterday.