1) I am used to crying. Extended crying from the baby, cry-whining from the 2 year old, frustrated cries and screams from the 3 year old, and angry loud yelling cries from the 5 year old. My favorite is when the cries harmoniously create a simultaneous symphony of chaos.
2) I am doing a LOT of laundry, especially since the baby spits up all the time so not only are you adding another kid's laundry with about 2-3 outfits per day, but my own soiled clothes when a simple pat down wipe is not enough to remove the stench. I had begun doing a load a day before baby #4 came, and it seemed to be manageable, but I'm probably on average one load a day for about 4 days and about 2 more loads for days 5 and I try to avoid laundry on the weekend but always find myself doing 1 or 2 more loads. I do, however, prescribe to the start to finish style, where I always wash/dry/fold/put away at least one load, even if it's not the same one. And still, the laundry feels like a lot more than before.
3) I am understanding that getting out the door now takes 45 minutes of anticipation if I want to be punctual. In that 45 minutes, I might need to nurse for 30, or change an outfit because of spit-up in the last 15, and that it takes about 30 minutes of calm repeat reminders to get the kids going so that they are out the door without you huffing and puffing before it's time. For the most part, I am just okay with being late these days, until we find our rhythm again, punctuality is not achievable without great effort.
4) I am in love with screen time. It's sometimes the only manageable way to safely confine my kids to a space near me that doesn't result in fighting, kicking, and crying. My kids get along great when they're bonded by the common desire to watch a show. For a while, Dagny was frustrated that she always had to watch shows the boys picked, but lately, they've veered back towards the unisex shows and she's grown an affinity for the pink power ranger, so there's that. The promise of a show also does wonders for encouraging my kids to do extra things. Case in point, today after making their beds, getting dressed, and eating breakfast, I kindly advised them when they finished taking a bath/shower, they could watch a new Paw Patrol.
5) I am constantly sniffing out funky smells. I find my head arched in the funniest of places trying to figure our where that gross aroma is coming from. It's pretty much always milk spit up, the older it is, the grosser it reeks, and a few times it has been me and my lack of showering from a place under my arms... Sometimes, its a combination of the two.
6) I am constantly dealing with crap. They say that girls who spend a lot of time together normally sync up their menstrual cycles. Well, my kids and me have synced up our crap schedules. I'm not sure if that's a thing.. but it's normally huge poop from Cooper, followed by Dagny announcing she has pooped and walking funny, then Jordan rushing to the bathroom to poop, and last but never least, Bubba screaming, "I'm going to the bathroom!" because he still needs my help wiping. Somewhere in the middle of that, I am interrupted in the bathroom with obvious questions from my kids of, "Are you pooping?" because our bathroom does not have a lock on it.
7) I am not that tired... anymore. Contrary to popular belief and historical experience of my own, the three month marks seems to have turned a tide for our little Cooper. He is finally able to sleep on his own without being cradled for longer than 15 minutes. He still sleeps in bed with me at night, but he nurses while I'm laying down and sleeps next to me instead of under my arms (which gave me back pains a few weeks ago). So I'm running with the developmental joys of more sleep and hoping it only gets better from here on out.
And that is what life with four kids is currently like for me.
We've said good-bye to our nanny helper and will only see her again if I'm dying and need a break. May luck be on my side.