Jesse unofficially started back to work this week with workshops, benefits enrollment, and moving into his new classroom. He resigned from his former position teaching Civics and AP Government at a high school over thirty minutes away. He accepted a position as an 8th grade ELA (English Language Arts) teacher at a middle school less than fifteen minutes away. He is embracing new curriculum, new content, and a new age of students.
Jesse is not the only one who is facing changes. The triplets are now only taking one nap a day. For several months they have been napping from 10-11:30 and again from 3-4:30. A few weeks ago they reduced their naps to 45 minutes each. We made the switch to one afternoon nap a day. We're still adjusting the times, but it is somewhere between 1-2 pm until 3-4 pm. Mornings are now brutally long if we don't keep the trio entertained.
Jackson's new routine will begin in two weeks. Our big boy will be attending preschool three days a week (Tue/Wed/Thu) from 9-1. Jack is so school-oriented; I fully expect him to thrive with the additional day of school.
All of these changes impact me. It was a lot easier when I could toss tiny, sleeping babies into a double stroller and go about our day. Fast forward a year. I now have active, busy climbers and cruisers, who will soon be even busier walkers. I need to be able to give James, Amelia, and Maddie all of my attention while Jackson is at preschool. This means I need to provide safe, engaging places and activities for the trio to explore. Of course, I'll also have to give Jackson individual attention while the trio nap. Somewhere in between I'll need to cook, clean, monitor all four together, and find downtime.
This week we have been easing into our new routines. I had gotten a bit lazy over the past several weeks, overly relying on Jesse to take care of diaper changes and loading the kids in their carseats. My personal goal for this week was to feel confident on my own with all four kids. I felt confident before the babies were mobile, but now they are surprisingly fast and move in all different directions. I am happy to report that we have had a lot of fun attending play dates and outings over the past few days.
DPK with Friends
We met my former teammate, Lucy, and her granddaughter at our favorite museum. James, Amelia, and Maddie are each able to escape the infant area. James proudly discovered how to pull up to the water table. Amelia cruised up and down the small stairs and ramp. Maddie made friends with everyone she saw.
Lucy has a background in early childhood education, so she naturally filled the role of grandmother and preschool teacher extraordinaire.
We went upstairs to play with the blocks. It's so fun for me to see the triplets doing the same activities that Jackson does. Obviously they aren't building lego towers on the wall yet, but they are becoming little people with individual personalities.
Fire Station Tour
We left the museum early to meet our playgroup at the local fire station. It's taken all summer, but Jackson finally gets excited to go places with his friends. Truly, we go because I'm friends with the other moms, not because he's friends with the kids. He's still incredibly timid, but he regularly asks me "Will my friends be there?" One of my friend's nine year old daughter asked if she could push the double stroller. She even said, "I'd like to be a mother's helper."
Our tour began inside with the kitchen, beds, weights, and lounge areas. The firefighters led us outside to show us their gear.
Just as the men began to put on their suits, the station received two calls. Our tour was abruptly ended as we watched both firetrucks and an ambulance drive away.
Feeding Ducks at the Lake
I used to frequent this particular park a lot, though I've only taken the kids twice in the past few months. James, Amelia, and Maddie immediately scurried around the walled pier and pulled up to stand. I love when they stand like that without me having to pose anybody!
Once Jackson ran out of bread, the girls climbed up and down the wide stairs. James cruised around the perimeter. They boys were so precious!
We had a snack at a large picnic area.
I know the novelty of shoes will wear off eventually, but for now, I think three little sets of baby legs and shoes piled in a wagon is one of the most adorable sightings ever.
The park is beside the library, so we stopped by to pick up some requested books. I let the kids explore in the children's area.
Jackson and James took turns flipping through the pages of an awesome Batman board book.
Can you tell they were getting tired?
I'm relieved to reaffirm my enjoyment for being out and about with the kids by myself. Going out is definitely harder than it was last year, but it's also a lot more enjoyable watching each of the kids make new discoveries. I'm already working on a list of adventures to go on this fall.