For the moment, I'm enjoying a glass of wine on the deck while watching the children play. Tonight is my last night as being a mother of 4, and I'm patting myself on the back because I survived (and yes, there were moments I thought otherwise.)
The past 5 days have brought us a whirlwind of activity. Saturday brought us Miss Po's 4th birthday, an event I'm still trying to reconcile with myself. I have never had a 4 year old in the home without having a brand new baby or without being pregnant.
I'm mourning the fact that my baby girl is 4. Realistically, I should be celebrating that we both made it alive through year 3, but in reality, I feel the huge loss of her toddlerhood.
We celebrated her birthday in true Paloma style up at Camp. She received a Princess bicycle and took to riding that right away.
I was a bit worried about how Miles would handle a birthday party (and gifts that weren't his) and as you can tell from this photo, my worry was unfounded because he wasn't trying to compete with Paloma at all ;)
Upon our return from Camp, we attended a birthday part for friends' children at Chuck E. Cheese.
This was Miles' Inaugural Visit. Honestly, I had hoped that his inaugural visit would have been a full year or two after his arrival home, but we figured, what the heck, let's live dangerously.
Miles loved it at first,
until Chuckie himself arrived.
Ever notice how Chuck E. Cheese elicits the same sort of response as the Chucky doll from the movies?
I'm proud to say that we spent 2 hours at Chuckie's with all four children, without incident or tantrum. Unless you count my severely elevated blood pressure, but a visit to Jill's and a half bottle of wine later and that problem was fully resolved.
Monday morning we packed up and headed to Milwaukee, where the Mister was scheduled to fly out for a very early Tuesday morning flight to Fort Lauderdale. We had the great idea to stay at a waterpark hotel, since we could stay for free with the Mister's frequest guest points. Immediately upon our arrival, I realized that it was a great idea for Monday night, while the Mister was still in our presence. Tuesday morning, however, when it was four kids, a waterpark and little ol' me, had me re-evaluating our decision.
But, we all survived the waterpark and headed out to Milwaukee's South Shore Park. This is my favorite spot in Milwaukee.
My grandmother grew up in this Bayview neighborhood. Lake Michigan looks so huge it feels like the ocean, and the whole neighborhood has a quaint seaside feel. While we lived in Milwaukee, I would pack up the kids and take them there at least once a week.
From the park, we walked the trail to the Lakeshore where we threw rocks
and collected sea glass.
Walking by water is therapy.
Then the children loaded their pockets, shirts and hands with rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. Which are still in my car 2 days later.
My grandmother was born in this house, exactly 2.5 blocks down from the park.
Lake Michigan is across the street. When she was a girl, the home was only one story. The second story was added on by a later owner. My grandmother, her mother, father and brother shared a bedroom. There was a little tiny house, really just a room, in the backyard where they take in a border.
This is the water well and pump where my grandmother and her mother would collect water. It still runs 24/7. The water is very cold and, as the children found out, very iron-y in taste.
I love Bayview. I feel so connected to my roots there. Perhaps someday we'll live there. That would be lovely.
My glass of wine is long gone, the children are ready for baths, and this day is ready to come to a close. We should be getting a phone call shortly from the Mister, announcing that he and Keenan are on US soil. And a family of 7 will finally be born.