Anyway, Year One with three kids has been a huge learning experience. It was challenging to meet the needs of everyone all the time, and I think that will continue. I can only do so much at one time, and the kids don't quite get that. I suppose that is to be expected since they are still pretty little, but that doesn't mean it's not frustrating. None of the baby's milestones were surprising or new to me since this is the thrid time around, but it has been new figuring out how to deal with them in addition to 2 toddlers. For example, things were pretty easy in the beginning when she couldn't move around on her own. I could put her someplace and I could even ask one of the other ones to find her pacifier or sometimes even give her a bottle for a minute while I finished something like dinner or a bathroom break. Although babies are high maintenance because they eat often and poop alot, they are generally not in any kind of danger while remaining stationary in a swing or bouncer.
That ends pretty fast when they start to crawl! My little one started crawling just before Christmas and was pulling up and cruising almost immediately and so the easy days of having three were over! And she loves to get in to everything - every drawer, cabinet, box that she can get her hands on. And EVERYTHING goes in her mouth including small rocks, leaves, bottles, etc. So, I try to keep that area occupied with her pacifier, and that kind of works sometimes. She quickly learned how to do the stairs and can crawl faster than her brother and sister. It seems she knows everything she shouldn't touch and also knows when someone looks away for a second. She can break past any make-shift barrier I create so that I can do things like make dinner or take a bathroom break. Of course, it's all to be expected, but it's so much harder when there are THREE kids running around. It seems none of them have discovered any type of patience, and they are all hungry at the same time. So, it's challenging and tiring, but nothing we didn't know was coming. It's hard, especially without any family around to help, but there's lots of good, too.
I love that the baby is finally interacting with people and the environment. We went to the aquarium recently and she finally noticed the fish and was squealing at them. She waves at people and loves to play with stuff. She's VERY close to walking and I'm super excited to be done with expensive formula and bottles. I'm excited to finally get to do more stuff with all three kids, although she's still too little for some stuff. We are lucky that she is generally happy and easy going, and her brother and sister love her and watch out for her. It's been a crazy year, but I'm looking forward to this year with her as an actual participating member of the family!