Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hotel Henry

We had the privilege of getting to keep Henry while our friends, Karlin and Ryan, were at the hospital having baby Avah. It really went so much smoother than I had expected. I'm sure that God was just piling on the grace for things to have been so simple.

It started on Sunday morning... early morning, 12:30 am... when we got the call that they had decided to go to the hospital. Having seen Karlin Saturday night, and knowing her normal pregnancy contractions had taken a more serious turn, we weren't surprised. They did have to call us twice though before we realized that it was the phone ringing in our deep haze of sleep.

So, I headed over and slept on the couch until Henry woke up in the morning. He wasn't the least bit upset that "Marga" was there instead of mommy and daddy. But to play it safe and make leaving home fun, we went and picked up donuts before heading to our house for breakfast with everyone.

Karlin had told me that they do arts and crafts in the morning, so painting was in order. It was interesting to see Henry keep all his colors separated in the palette and on the page. Caroline likes to double dip and her paints all end up orange, brown, and purple.

We had lots of outside time over the next two and a half days. The kids loved the sand table and digging in the dirt. We even got Henry his own shovel when we went to the dollar store on Monday (and I had to add an extra nail on the fence so everyone had room to hang their yard tools).

It was nice to start out on Sunday when Kevin was there to help me. He kept the kids occupied most of the morning in the garage and washing our cars. I hope the Medlin's don't report us to the child labor authorities.

For me, the most difficult thing about three kids was making lunch. For dinner, we all eat mostly the same thing, but it seems that I make at least three different menus for lunch. Diced stuff for Charlotte, Jelly sandwiches for the kids, and meat sandwiches for the adults. It's a lot to take out, assemble, and put away. So, with my lesson learned, I prepped our sandwiches before bed the next two nights, and also readied all the sippy cups for breakfast (five of them to be exact).

I was so impressed by Henry's willingness to just climb into bed for naptime. I really expected a battle. It was funny when I went to check on him and he was all wrapped up in the canopy from Caroline's bed.

Caroline fell asleep watching a movie with Kevin.

All of this, and Avah still wasn't ready to join the world. Henry was already in bed for the night when Avah was born at 8:40 pm.

On Monday, I had a friend come watch the girls so I could take Henry to meet his new sister. We had picked up some balloons for her after breakfast.

Then it was lunch and more playtime outside. I like the second picture...

Henry : You need to share!!

Caroline: Who me???

Charlotte is still not walking on her own, but she will push this lawn mower anywhere. All the way to the end of our street in fact. She also likes to make it into a "riding" mower. She's also standing unassisted more each day. I actually caught one on camera. She's holding her shoe that popped off. She likes to get these sneakers out of our shoe box anytime we are doing something in the nook. I think it's her way of asking to go outside to play.

It was a warm day, so we pulled last winter's pool out for some water fun. The funniest thing was Henry pouring a cup of water on his face and laughing, over and over. The pool was a big hit, and the cause of our first and only meltdown. Henry did not want to go inside when pool time was over.

We ended the day with another visit to see baby Avah.

On Tuesday, we made some welcome home signs and went to hang them up at Casa Medlin. Karlin says that when they took Henry home later that day, he went around and pointed out everything we had decorated. She said it was really neat for him.

We also went to the pet store. So, that was two outings (dollar store and pet store) with three kids. I just had the big kids hold hands and they did great. The worst part was how long it takes to (un)buckle three kiddos in car seats - phew!

Snacktime. Lunchtime. And Henry was home in time for naptime.

All in all, it was great. Henry is 14 months younger than Caroline. It's funny to think that we really could have a middle child between the girls. The kids played really well, and I see how older siblings really do entertain each other - when they don't need a referee for something. We had several opportunities to talk to Caroline about the Golden Rule when she would complain about Henry taking a toy or hitting her. I turned it right around on her actions towards Charlotte at times.

I was so happy to be able to do this for the Medlins and I would totally do it again!!