Organizing Theory & Artistry

My Favorite Proportion Lesson this Year

My Favorite Proportion Lesson this Year
With spring came the arrival of my son!
With spring came the arrival of my son!

“When are we ever going to see that baby?” a friend recently inquired. Yes, my new baby is here! We added a wonderful, healthy son to our family.

Even with three other children, it is hard to remember how tiny newborn babies are. Our whole lives were reevaluated in “proportion” to our new little one.

Smiling in his sleep.
Smiling in his sleep.

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Fitting in to our new routine.  Here, at soccer practice.
Fitting in to our new routine. Here, at soccer practice.

All went well with the delivery and our recovery has been an enjoyable time with family and friends. Easter, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day passed in a blink. It has been a challenge to settle into a new rhythm as a family of 6. When you add a new baby to the family, everyone has to grow up a bit. The big sisters become ever more responsible and the “itty bitty” who was skiing with me just months ago is now the “big brother.”

The little brother becomes the big brother.
The little brother becomes the big brother.

It has truly been an enjoyable spring. Virginia is at its best in spring. While home recovering with my baby, my garden put on the most magnificent show of blooms. Even the iris which have never bloomed, bloomed this year. During this pregnancy, I developed a severe case of “rose colored glasses syndrome” where I found myself even appreciating how wonderful DC traffic was over the Christmas season. My affliction continues–although in milder form.

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Fern tendrils ready to open.
Fern tendrils ready to open.
Cherry blossoms in DC.
Cherry blossoms in DC.

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The leaves return.
The leaves return.
A new entry in my blooms from a plant I put in last year.
A new entry in my blooms from a plant I put in last year.

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The "miracle" irises.
The “miracle” irises.
Lanterns on the battlefield for Memorial Day.
Lanterns on the battlefield for Memorial Day.

Yet life with an infant is never all roses. Despite my bliss, it is a struggle to get going in the mornings. Usually, as soon as I open my eyes in the morning, I am already behind. There is mess to clean up from the night before, sheets to wash (again!) and outfits to change. Getting dressed is more challenging as I am currently at that in-between size where maternity clothes are too big but my regular clothes are too small. My laundry and dirty dishes seem to have quadrupled. My eldest son spontaneously decided to potty train just weeks after the baby came, which is wonderful, but added to my duties came sprinting to the potty at a moment’s notice and daily carpet cleaning.

On top of everything else, the Tooth Fairy has been to visit 3 times!
On top of everything else, the Tooth Fairy has been to visit 3 times!

We are also winding up our homeschooling efforts and preparing for standardized tests. For the past 8 weeks, we have essentially been conducting a math camp, completing 291 pages of second grade math and 307 pages of fourth grade math to finish up our Singapore Math curriculum.

During a math intensive day, I got the email from goop about “Postnatal Depletion

“On average, a mom’s brain shrinks 5% in the prenatal period . . . Part of the brain shrinkage mentioned above, Dr. Serrallach explains, is reprogramming: “It supports the creation of ‘baby radar,’ where mothers become intuitively aware of their child’s needs, if they are cold or hungry, or if they cry at night.” This hyper-vigilance becomes dangerous for the mother when she, in turn, is not supported.”

–“Postnatal Depletion,” goop

The very next thing I read was:

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I laughed at the irony.

I laughed again at my obstetrical follow-up appointment when I read the depression screening questionnaire. When it asked questions about whether I have difficulty sleeping, I knew that if I answered “Yes,” it would look like depression but if I answered “No” I would be certifiable (as who does sleep well with a newborn baby?).

I took solace in quotes like this one from blogger Eileen Ogintz in The New York Times:

“You have to be prepared that it’s not one Instagram moment after another. We have incredibly high expectations and . . . it’s not perfect. It’s a messy experience and aggravating.”

–Eileen Ogintz, “’Taking the Kids,’ for Nearly 20 Years,” The New York Times, April 28, 2015

Mother's Day 2015
Mother’s Day 2015

During my break from blogging, I have been enduring many life lessons on organizational challenges. I have been reading wise words from other organizational gurus and thinking about ideas for future blog posts.

I hope that spring has treated you well and am glad to be back with you on this organizational journey!

P.S. For anyone bothered by the math question, here are the solutions we came up with.

The tessellation that took us forever to solve.
The tessellation that took us forever to solve.