Oh the difference a year can make. Do ya'll seriously have an idea of how fast this past year has gone? For me I mean. I don't care about you. (I do, I do, I am sorry. Harsh. Kidding.)
Something really interesting happens to you when you have your kids close together. I think that it leaves you a bit touched. Knowing a mom who had 5 kids under the age of 5 at one time, sealed the deal for me. I knew that I wanted my kids to be close together. Maybe not THAT many kids THAT close, but I wanted that bond that her kids had. They looked out for each other, they entertained each other, and they were very self sufficient and kind children. But what I never realized was that they were the reason that, even in complete silence, she had a difficult time finishing a sentence. Because her brain was scattered, and her mind was elsewhere, and her duties were many. Sometimes, blogging becomes difficult to me. Because I like to go On and On and the kids like to suck out of me that life and energy that allows my brain to put those thoughts down. SO sometimes (okay, I lie. ALL times) my brain is blogging.... but my fingers don't have time to get it all out.
I have to say that I have never classified myself as a "writer" but perhaps it's time that I did? I love to write. Things that I see and things that I hear and do go through my mind and come out as a blog. I don't just mean sometimes. I mean ALL the times. My mind is constantly commentating. A blog is the outlet that I have for that commentating. And although it is rewarding and connecting to have people who enjoy reading it... contrary to popular belief, I do not blog because I want to have people following me. Nope. Because een way back when I thought no one was listening... I blogged my little heart out. Because it's a release. Because I was somehow, born to blog. I see similar behavior in the way that Ardyn commentates and narrates her own "adventures" and I realize that there is something about a writer that aches to put their commentary down on paper. Whether it be commentary about their own lives, or the lives (fact or fiction) of others... it's about having that mental state where you are constantly blogging in your head. Might as well put all that down, right?
Now. Let's be honest. (By this I mean I am being honest. But ironically, I am pretty much always honest... so don't be all amazed) This past year was by far the most difficult year of my 30 year life. It was joy and stress and millions of minutes of my brain spitting out sentences that, despite my best efforts, were constantly interrupted. I feel like my life is in a constant state of interruption. My responsibilities are absolutely overwhelming. Two demanding children under 2 was about more than I could take. My brain and my body were in a constant exhausted state of overload. I was in high demand. On Call. CEO. My husband became that shadowy figure on the edges, that sometimes came into focus and just about when I was ready to reach out and touch him... I was interrupted again. Naptime became a mission. If I took a nap I felt guilty. If I didn't, then I was exhausted and although I had done a TON of things, it didn't even make a dent. Laundry piled up as far as the eye could see. Dirty piles. Clean piles. Unmatched sock piles. The hardest thing was that no one in this house but me even seemed to notice... at least that's how it seemed. Because certainly if they noticed, they would HELP me, right? RIGHT? (no. for your own future reference.)
What I most look forward to in the new year.... is change. I don't even care if I meet HALF of my goals. If it gets easier, I will be happier. I am already seeing hints of the changes. Everyone sleeps through the night (unless they are sick.) Everyone can eat the same meals (unless there is honey, yogurt, or nuts involved.) No One has an extreme food allergy (yet.) Only one person is in diapers (two if you count Ardyn still overnight.) The house is now fluctuating between a state of absolute disaster and a state of potential. I occasionally see light at the end of the tunnel (or literally speaking, I see at least one, if not two or three, horizontal surfaces!) I find that I am able to pass by a mirror and notice how bad my hair is sticking up, at least ONCE before the kids go to bed. I notice that I am able to laugh about some things that previously would have brought me to tears. I have found many new mom friends in REAL life in addition to my large network of online mom friends. I thank MOPS and Facebook for the connections that I so desperately needed. I thank MOPS for playdates and activities with women and their families, especially women whose situations are practically mirror images of mine. I see their imperfections and love them all the more because they are like me.
I see Ardyn learning to recognize more letters of the alphabet, and trying to dress and undress herself, and be independent in things like potty breaks and sharing. I see her learning how to turn lights on and off, how to open doors, how to navigate stairs and slides and climb up into her own carseat. I see Marek standing and waving, clapping and signing for Milk. I hear him laughing at things he sees, at the dog, at his sister... and I hear him trying to imitate words and sounds. We hear the occasional "mamma" or "daddy" and see him rocking to music. Every single day is new and wonderful. It always has been, but I feel like some of the fog of "2 under two" has past. (of course, she's not under two any more, so that DOES make sense.)
I wouldn't do it over any other way. I see them playing together and loving on each other. When I hear Ardyn call Marek her "Bub Little Lovey" it just about bursts my heart wide open... When I see him bite her and let out a high pitched shriek of anger when she won't give his toy back... I have to shake my head and smile.
I know that having kids close like this isn't for everyone. I know that it leaves some of us a bit scarred... but it brings such immense joy when you see two people so close together, so identical in so many ways... be so amazingly DIFFERENT from each other. Wow. It still stuns me.
For the new year, I see lots of positive change. I hope to start remembering what my husband looks like. The one that I had BEFORE these two kids came along, and the even better one that two kids have made... (a daddy!)
I hope to get a handle on my house. Maybe I won't need that new sign out front after all? (Who am I kidding. It will say "My house was clean yesterday, sorry you missed it!" because that is the ABSOLUTE truth.) I hope that I can get more support and assistance from others. I don't do well with asking for help. I guess I always figured that if you are drowning, someone will surely see, right? But there are no lifeguards on this coastline folks. These are turbulent waters. I hope that in the new year, I don't feel that when asking a grandparent to keep a grandchild overnight (is ONCE a month too much to ask?!) they respond like I have asked for their severed dominant arm. (seriously, are my kids THAT bad?!) I hope that I can make it through the long Illinois winter months without going stir crazy, and that I can find that delicate balance between raising hermits and exposing my kids to every playdate and doctor's office germ that will infect our entire household like a wave of plague.
I hope to be more organized, but in a BETTER way. I know that most of you might be laughing hysterically at ME being more ORGANIZED? You mean there is something in my house that is NOT labeled?! Yep. Purging. Things need to go. We are so overwhelmed with posessions, and crammed into this house, it's stifling. It's hard to keep your cool when you trip every 5 minutes. It's hard to be romantic when you can barely wade to your bed each night and you sleep next to a pile of unfolded laundry instead of your husband. I hope that to be BETTER organized, we will have LESS to organize, and that EVERYONE in this household will participate in keeping and maintaining a sense of organization, without having to be nagged and pestered, or without having to see me in nervous breakdown mode in order to help out around the house.
I hope that we can get into a better routine that will allow each child more one-on-one time with mom and/or dad, so that I can do things like read to Marek and do Hooked on Phonics and crafts with Ardyn. I hope that we can get more sleep (by we I mean ME) and remember that tomorrow is another day and it's OKAY if not everything gets accomplished before I sleep. When we get more sleep I hope that we are more comfortable with those morning playdates that everyone seems to DEMAND we have (why oh why must we be somewhere before 10am? It's against every fiber of my being.) I hope that the new friends we have made can result in more playdates PERIOD and I hope to see Ardyn form some real friendships with friends whose names she can actually remember, and that she will WANT to remember (and who will want to remember hers!) I hope we can work on her SHARING and her LISTENING. I hope I can work on my PATIENCE and my newfound talent of reasonsing without a toddler without screaming.
Most of all, I hope that I can work on my relationship with my husband. And I am thankful that despite the shell-shocked state we have been in this past year (two years?) we are still married at all :)
My goal in 2010 is to be the best mom, wife, and friend that I can be. It's to enjoy every moment, because I have already seen that they go by so quickly.
Happy New Year!