Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blah blah, Random Year End Stuff.

Ellie's afraid of monsters right now. Anyone else have a toddler with this issue? I honestly don't know where this came from - true monsters are not really something she's been exposed to (ala Monster's Inc), but she can't sleep without the lights on and hides her face a lot from the "monsters" and comes into our room a lot earlier than she used to in the middle of the night. Just now, I went downstairs to grab her a diaper (because she's in underwear and was FREAKING OUT for a diaper, refusing the toilet, etc) and she burst into sobs. I was gone literally 3.5 seconds. What a funny kid. But really, it breaks my heart a little.

Dash slept 3.5 hours straight last night. That's a HUGE deal for us. Bless his heart, he knew he was thisclose to being sleep/crib trained so he gave me a break. He's still teething his front two teeth - they're yet to pop through, but his little gums are so swollen with teeth. It looks incredibly painful. And while he can't really crawl, he's starting to master the art of getting around somehow, despite this limitation.

I honestly didn't remember it was New Year's Eve until just now. Show's how much planning I put in to ringing in the new year. :) That's how it goes with little ones, but that's perfectly okay by me. If I could plan an ideal night, it would be everyone going to bed without fuss at 8pm. How's that for exciting? But, that's where we are this morning.


The last couple years I've done a year-end recap, and a "wish list" of sorts for the coming year. I'm not going to do either this time around. But, I will say this: 2013 was probably one of the most difficult years of my life. This year was filled with an incredible roller coaster of emotions, but one that I will hopefully remember as incredibly precious and keep dear to me always. 2013 held some scary times that required some pretty significant leaps of faith for our family, but also a million tiny fleeting moments of pure joy. We faced unemployment - unemployment while Very Pregnant at that, a tough pregnancy, a premature baby and subsequent NICU stay, a car accident. All things that were stressful and tough to maintain composure throughout. But - we welcomed our son. Our beautiful boy, who we love more than we thought ever possible. We stare at him at night and marvel at his perfection, his beauty and his strength. We are so incredibly lucky. We also watched our daughter grow into an amazing kid. She's strong, funny, smart, beautiful, strong-willed, thoughtful and a huge joy for us. And, of course, we have each other - our marriage that keeps getting put on the backburner while we learn to juggle, but we love each other and power through the days with a smile (usually!).

Welcoming a second baby and learning to juggle the demands of two, starting to figure out how to keep a household running and four people's needs mostly met was not easy for me, but I believe this will be a constant work in process. I found that while having one child puts your needs on low priority, having a second keeps meeting your needs at next-to-no-priority. It really is a major reality shift to almost never have time to focus on yourself anymore. Parties aren't about socializing - they're about tag teaming and chasing kids. Dinner's out aren't enjoyable really, and even being around family sometimes feels like you've become a burden. Not that people don't enjoy the children, but let's be real: no one enjoys two year old tantrums left to fester while mom's busy breastfeeding. :) Toting one kid around is fairly easy, even spontaneous road trips are possible. Two is much less easy, and I'm much more likely to simply stay home than the ordeal which is sometimes getting everyone ready to go out, and then actually GO out. If I've forgotten an ingredient, the chances are next to zero that I will bother to go get it. We do without.

But, this is not about reflecting on the difficulty which having two young children has brought to my life. Because the highs have been way, way more than worth it. Yes, it's been a year where I've often felt pretty isolated. But, in the little bubble which we have built there is more joy than I thought humanly possible. So 2013 was beyond good to us when all is said and done. The first year with my baby boy, Ellie's third year. A year well lived, with the wrinkles to prove it. :)

As for 2014, my wish is for two parents with jobs that are stable and make us happy, and two kids who are happy and healthy. And that's really all I need, ever.

(note: it took me all day to write this. note, also: guess what I did for the first time today? ran out of an ingredient, looked at the clock and realized Eleanor was not going to fall asleep for nap anytime soon, and thus would be up too late, bundled up the kids and ran to the grocery store for said ingredient. first for everything!).

I leave you with some recent pictures of my joy. :)
morning sharing
post nap selfies 
the joy of the family bed

they really do find comfort with each other
she tucked herself in for a movie
no caption needed 
seconds later, he was asleep

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