five kids

So I am very, very aware that in ten weeks we will add another life to this home. This fact has me overjoyed and occasionally, a bit concerned. Like the addition of every kid before this one, I just can't quite imagine how it's going to look or feel.

I have been tackling this feeling in a number of ways:

First, in January I became a devout fan of Minimal Mom on Youtube. She's got all sorts of inspiring videos encouraging people to see how much time and energy our possessions really demand. She considers everything we own as basically inventory we have to keep track of, and the less we have, the less stress and the less mess. I have always been organized and I have always given quite a bit away, but this message has taken me to a whole new level and nothing is safe. In an effort to make room for another living soul, I am donating box after box after bag after bag. It feels fantastic.

Second, we have been preparing for this baby by setting up systems and schedules all over our life. We have an hourly schedule for each day of the week that considers both of us and what we need to accomplish. Rory made a two week menu rotation that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's incredible. I don't like everything on the rotation, but I do love that there is ALWAYS A PLAN. And this seems wise for the season that is to come.

Part of the weekly schedule is on Sunday nights, a personal favorite time called Power Hour. From 6-7pm, we deep clean the house. I hit the bathrooms and laundry room. Rory vacuums the whole house. Elsie sweeps and mops the kitchen and entry tile. Ivar washes down or dusts all of the surfaces in the house (tables, counters, bookshelves, kitchen chairs...) At the very beginning of Power Hour we all pick the house up quickly (like clearing counters, picking up the floors, and putting furniture up so it's easier to vacuum.) I will say that no one looks forward to Power Hour, but we all love how our house feels when kicking off a new week. It looks like house cleaners have come...and they have. But it was us!

And finally, yesterday I took the kids to run four errands. But before we left I explained now that we are out of winter coats, I would like Ivar to buckle and unbuckle Alden and Elsie to buckle and unbuckle Hattie. And when we get to a destination, brothers must hold hands and sisters must hold hands all the way into the store, and then again out of the store. We had four stops to practice and the only one who put up a fuss was Alden who was quickly told this was not an option and he had to practice again. Once he realized I was serious about this new plan, he followed suit with his siblings. Oh, this was such a big deal for me! As we walked into Dollar Tree, my four were ahead of me, two by two, and I suddenly could fathom having a baby carrier on my arm and believing that it will all be okay.

Because it will be!

As I am typing this, I have a baby inside of me who is moving a leg or an elbow back and forth across my belly. My striped shirt is bumping out in mighty ways all over the place. There is a life in there who is going to add their own personality on our family whole. What a wonderful thought! So we will be fine. These systems and plans will all help. Though there will surely be hairy moments. But we've got hairy moments now! And what I know for sure is that love always multiplies when a new life enters the family. We already love and adore this active babe inside of me. And this baby is going to be very, very well loved by our whole family.

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