It is 9:31 PM and I am sitting at the computer. The baby is playing at my feet and the back sliding door is open with the screen shut, and fallish night air is blowing gently in and the crickets are singing. The kid's room is quiet, and when I say "kids", I mean all four are in there - Gabe, Israel, Zion, and Layla.
Layla has been getting harder (read: taking longer) to get to sleep of late (usually Tim lays down with her to get her to sleep; up to this point he has enjoyed it and found it endearing how she cuddles up to him and talks, but lately it's taken a long time for her to chatter all her news and needs out and his eyes are starting to look slightly wild and frazzled by the time he comes out...OR he falls asleep in there and I am very diligent to wake him up so that I don't have to bear the AWAKE CRABBY CAROLINE by myself, as she can be a very mighty emotional burden when she is up past her normal time). We had tried putting Layla into the extra bunk in her brothers' room to sleep, as she was not falling asleep until around the time they went to sleep anyway, thinking it might prove to be the companionship she is craving like it was for Zion at her age, but all she has done up to this point is to squawk and thrash around happily until tiredness sets in and then she goes and fetches her daddy to take her to bed.
However. On the nights that daddies are away, no baby birds will play. Says the mommy with a cranky, stern glint in her eye. Layla knows that I won't lay down with her, as I need to "listen for the baby and brothers", and this night settled down with hardly a peep. I also gave strict instructions that NO ONE was to say ANY words, which took care of the squawking part, and allowed wee baby girls to settle in for the night. SCORE!!! Now we'll just see how she does in the middle of the night....hmmmmm. Hope she doesn't screech her angry way past Caroline's room at 3 AM. Guess we'll cross that bridge when if and when it arrives.
Speaking of Caroline, she has been on a cold/teething tear and has been a royal mess in terms of sleeping. I finally had the brilliant idea to combine ibuprofen (which she tries to angrily spit out) and night time baby Oragel, and finally got my first good night of sleep in a good while. Right now she is happily playing in the lower drawer of the desk in the dining area, where she is busily and nosily clanking together cups and plates placed there for her siblings. (They have their own special drawer with their own special plates and cups. The idea is that they are responsible for their own place setting, and washing and taking care of it. This is loosely in place at this point. The kids like having their own specific items, but the washing of them is still in flux, since I often just scoop them up and stick them in the dishwasher. We'll get there, or see if we need to get there or not. I like them having their own things, which makes less work for me.) I don't feel like stopping her because it makes her happy and then I can type. :D
She's such a cutie pie. Right now, she is 3 days shy of one year old, and just a precious baby. She's so squeezy and dear and cuddly and curly haired and grinny. This morning she was wearing fuzzy pink blanket pj's and she was just too adorable. She is standing a lot, and taking steps now and again, and is quite the speedy crawler. She is VERY interested in the dishwasher, and I have to watch her closely or she would empty the silverware basket and sit on the opened door. She has radar for electronics and sweet drinks and is quite demanding about both. The other night when she was up late and fussy and not going to sleep I played her this video and she LOVED it. The next day I played it again to show Zion and Layla, and she was playing on the floor near the computer and I could tell that she immediately recognized the song and it made her very happy all over again. :)
I am happy that it's turning fall. I feel like life has almost been too busy to take in much of the outdoors for a while. I had hoped to go camping as a family this summer, but it never happened. I was thinking about that a bit regretfully the other night while I was getting Caroline to sleep, but at the same time thought "I REALLY REALLY don't want to camp with the baby yet." Just too painful in terms of sleep deprivation and necessary recovery time, if you ask me.