Carrie and Cooper are 5 months in to life as a family of 4. And like speeding down a groomed slope only to come upon a long stretch of moguls, it’s all about being flexible and taking those bumps in stride. One such bump came with the shift from being an at-home mama, to Carrie going back to work teaching outside the home.

“Adding a second child to the mix, while certainly not easy, was manageable during maternity leave. Our primary dual-resolution was to maintain order amidst the chaos, and so far so good … but it’s not without a LOT of effort and regular pow-wows over the weekly schedule to ensure things are lined out.

We’ve been fortunate that a local college student has been able to watch Hobbes four days a week this semester. She’s watched a friend’s little one for two years and has three little brothers, so she’s a natural and has hit it off very well with Hobbes. We’re helping her pay the college bills, she can knock out work when little man naps, and we’re getting great care while Carrie works.”

A Change in Numbers

It’s simple math: 3 + 1 = Wow. Cooper shared with us a typical weekday schedule now that Carrie’s back in the classroom. (Sound familiar, anyone?)

baby makes four

6:30 Cooper and Hattie are up, eating breakfast, and getting dressed.
7:00 Carrie and Hobbes are up. Cooper is willing Hattie to school.
7:30-8:00 Cooper takes Hattie to school and then goes to work.
8:30 Carrie rallies to work when Stephanie (nanny) arrives.
4:00 Carrie relieves Stephanie, feeds Hobbes, gets Hattie.
5:00 Cooper home. Someone makes dinner while the other handles the kids.
6:00 Carrie returns to work (beginning of semester evening function).
6:30 Friend Amanda arrives to watch kids. Cooper departs for hockey.
7:15 Amanda puts Hattie to bed. Copious books and songs ensue.
8:30 Cooper returns, possibly feeds Hobbes.
9:00ish Carrie returns. Both ensure Hobbes is fed and put to bed.
9:30 Cooper/Carrie turn in …

And then, as Cooper articulates so well, “Lather, rinse, repeat…”.

Fun On the Mountain

With such a busy weekday schedule, one might think that the weekends would find this little Colorado clan snuggled up under the covers and hibernating until Monday. Well, they DO nap, but not after taking advantage of their snowy surroundings.
“Weekends have been fairly routine of late now that it’s ski season. One morning is spent at the local ski hill (aptly named Ski Cooper) where I usually take Hattie skiing on the magic carpet while Carrie nordic skis with Hobbes in the bjorn. Someone skis solo while Hattie snacks and sleds, and then it’s time to head home for naps (everyone). Whoever didn’t get the solo option to ski can take the nap hours to exercise if so motivated, and that is what it often comes down to – does one pursue their own agenda during precious opportunities to rest or not? Seems to be about 50/50 for us.”

Breaking It Down

If you’ve been following for a while now, you may remember that this Leadville, Colorado family are avid composters and home gardeners. Hattie did her part to contribute some healthy nitrogen to the garden compost pile, and now it’s Hobbes’ turn!

“Hattie has found sustained success with potty training just in time for Hobbes to start using her medium gPants. Some are of the pink variety, but we’re not afraid to cross the gender boundary when it comes to keeping his tush clean and dry. And he DOES like clean and dry. Polar opposite of Hattie at this age, he demands a change the instant he produces, making us that much happier to not be putting diapers in the trash as he’d fill a barrel a week no problem. We’re taking a handful of pee-only inserts and putting them into the compost along with our food scraps, as we’ve traditionally done. Since our compost pile is on the SW corner of the shed, it actually does its thing fairly well even in the winter with modest amounts of new material. The intense sun at high altitude warms up the pile nicely and melts any snow from storms to provide enough moisture. We’ll know for sure how it all plays out come spring, but we’re thinking there won’t be much left of the inserts and we’ll have some good soil for the garden as usual.”

It All Adds Up

Soup ClubDiaper changes, schedule changes, and a change in family size can leave parents breathless, tired, and looking forward to more rested days ahead. But our friends at 10,000′ in Colorado are invigorated. Life has changed, but it’s an equation that adds up to new depths of exquisite detail, and we can’t wait to hear the details that are in store come spring.