The day did not bode well.
Baby had me up pretty much from 1:30am to 5am last night. People often refer to the strain of nighttime "feedings," but I have no issue with feedings -- it's the awake-unhappy-crying for an hour after feeding that kills me.
Finally Katrina fell into a good solid sleep in the early morning -- just in time for Gabriel and Julian to take over. We think Gabriel woke Julian up this morning, but he won't admit it. Julian resisted every step this morning, screaming at each stage, pretty much for two solid hours. He gets kicked out into the backyard for excessive screaming, and while I'm all in favor of that, I let him back in this morning when I saw him give up and start to go to the neighbor's fence, bawling. How pathetic is that? But once inside, he picked right back up screeching, and I banished him to his room.
What a way to start a day when I'd have my first afternoon alone with all three.
But the rest of the day proved anticlimactic, until the evening. I took Julian to the park for a playgroup, where he happily played with Kristi's talented nanny, Danielle, while I took care of a mostly cooperative Katrina and yakked with my terrific mom friends.
After picking up Gabriel from pre-K, Katrina was asleep, so I took Julian straight upstairs for a nap, and got him settled at an unusually early 1:30. And he napped until 5:30pm!! He clearly needed it, he'd been horrible this morning.
Katrina also slept most of the afternoon, and no wonder -- she was exhausted from keeping me up all night. So I napped myself, worked on Halloween costumes, and chatted with Gabriel. Incredibly, on a day that Julian picked to resurrect his mondo naps, Gabriel was the perfect child, helpful and sweet and cooperative, playing and singing on his own much of the afternoon.
The evening got harder though. Dave worked late, so I had to give the boys dinner while carrying Katrina around. But, she did have some peaceful moments in a bouncer, and later, under the Gymini, where she received some tender affection from her older older brother.
I have to be so careful setting her down, as her brothers can barrel over her. But one time tonight, I'd set her down on a bed for a moment, and then quickly snatched her up when I heard Gabriel and Julian approaching. Gabriel looked at me with genuine wide-eyed innocence and said, "I wasn't going to hurt her, Mom." Oh boy did I feel bad! I hugged him and told him I knew that and what a wonderful big brother he is.
Tough evening with a fussy tired baby who couldn't stay asleep though. Finally Dave got her to sleep around 10pm, hopefully for the night. Hah.
So on the whole, I survived the afternoon alone with all three. It's much like the first few times of having two: you get more efficient, you have unexpected easy moments and then it can all hit at once. My one-handed skills have returned instantly; dinner was pretty much prepared and served with my left arm cradling baby the entire time (I'd like to try the Baby Bjorn, but any carrier that places any pressure on my abdomen is still out of the question). It's intense, but I know it will only get easier...well, mostly.