Making it

It’s pretty easy to crop out the mess or edit the words to spin the story into a fairytale, especially on social media. When you don’t have time for people to come over, the chances are low that anyone will know what it’s really like inside your house, or even your life. My life is so busy right now that I’d guess very few people actually know what’s going on. Almost every day I’m battling a new “fire” at work and I usually haven’t fully fixed the last one yet. It’s emotionally and physically draining. One day a few weeks ago, I sat outside in the quiet and just watched the sky. The fighting and crying inside was shut out and I wasn’t responsible for anything for those blissful 10 minutes. After putting in 30 something hours in three days, I was done and the week was only half over. The days are long and the years are short. I get that. When you feel like you’re in an awful version of Groundhog’s Day, it’s not very reassuring. It’s super hard without an end in sight.

It’s hard to say the same things to your children day-after-day when you don’t feel like they get it. Constantly teaching them not to fight, to share things, to not yell, and to use words when they get mad. It’s exhausting. I’m sure it’s exhausting to be inside a 2-year-old body also, but it doesn’t look like he’s exhausted. It looks like he has endless energy. It looks like he’s a runner when we’re in public places, has endless lung capacity, only has one volume {LOUD!}, and does everything we don’t want him to do. I look at my newly turned 5-year-old and see that it does go fast, but then I wonder how the years will go the second time around. Because this time we’re dealing with all kinds of things that we didn’t have to “handle” the first time. And for the sake of sleep, please stop waking up so early! Not only does he need more sleep, but so do the rest of us.

If you ask me how it’s going and my response is anything but “good,” know that I’m surviving by taking it one day at a time. They may not be glorious days, but I’m making it through the best way I can. Some days that means trying to yell over them so they will listen and other days that means running away to the deck for some quiet. Oh yeah, and some days it means coffee.

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The gift of children

It’s quiet on Leger Lane. Only adult things are filling up the space. Parenthood marathon on the tv and laundry in the washing machine. The lights are turned down and the Christmas tree is letting off a colorful array of twinkling. I spent almost two hours picking up, switching out decorations, and putting lights on the tree tonight. {Biggest mom accomplishment this week: waiting until the boys were asleep to tackle the Christmas light situation.} The house feels put together. It makes me feel content. It gives my mind time to recharge. Gear up for another day. The days don’t always go as anyone would like. Maximus spends 10% of each day whining that we didn’t do anything fun. Even right after we do something really fun. Quinten doesn’t always get along with anyone. And sometimes I raise my voice too much in an attempt to get someone to listen or everyone to stop fighting. Days can be hard and nights can be worse. The witching hour. A clean house and clear mind can erase the worst days. Tomorrow is another day and another set of challenges. It’s also another day of happy moments. There are always lots of those. Snuggles, kisses, hugs, kind words, funny toddler talk, and mind-blowing preschooler learning.

Quinten talks non-stop now. It started about two weeks ago and only stops when he’s sleeping. He’s a little parrot, know-it-all, and play-by-play commentator. He is definitely a toddler now with only a week-and-a-half to go before his 2nd birthday. It’s funny to see what he likes and doesn’t like. He wants to talk through every step involved in going to the bathroom but refuses to try it himself. He doesn’t like confined spaces, but hides in the pantry and yells, “Daddy! I hiding!” When I tell him a snack is all gone {because he doesn’t know how to say no to food}, he’ll tell Maximus 10 minutes later. Even when Maximus wasn’t talking about a snack or food. It’s a challenge to convince him that I can change his diaper and then an even bigger deal to get him to hold still while I do it. He loves to say, “No, mommy!” and run away when he doesn’t want to do something. When he doesn’t like what we tell him, he takes his frustration out on anything close – toys, people, dogs, water bottles. Quinten loves to dance, sing, and play music.

Maximus also talks non-stop. He is a little sponge. Constantly bringing things up that he learns in preschool. When we pick him up he can’t remember what he did in school. He mostly remembers gym time and story time. Yet, he says things to me like, “Mommy! I see the moon. The newest moon that our favorite man made. Do you know who that man is? You do mommy! It’s our favorite man way up high in heaven! It’s God!!” The other day he recognized a remix of a song before I did. Bryan plays it a lot and Maximus sings along. He walks around the house making up songs and singing really high. It’s hilarious! If he wants, he can be super sweet and helpful with Quinten. He loves drawing and coloring and talking about what sounds a letter makes. He likes to know what our plans are. He does better with life when he knows what to expect. His current obsession is watching toy reviews on YouTube. Seriously?! He loves playing music with Bryan but has strict rules on when Bryan can sign. Mostly it’s just “music bands and not singing bands.”

Tomorrow is another day. A big day. Thanksgiving is full of food, family, and a screwed up routine. I’m hopeful for well-behaved children! And an easy bedtime after the chaos of the day. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! 

Overwhelming love

Overwhelming love. I lay in bed at night and smile to myself while I think about that goofy little toddler. Being laid up for so long has helped me see things in a different light. I just sit here and watch him.

I watch him run quickly to follow his dada. Not letting anything escape his watchful eye. And if he should escape him, he runs through the house saying, “Daaada! Daaada?” Then yells, “hi!” once he finds him. Or other times decides it’s a game to find dada and yells, “boo!” when he finds him. I listen to him run to the laundry room to get his coat when his dada leaves. I listen to him as he struggles to get his coat on. He comes around the corner with one are in the wrong sleeve and grunts for help. He carries shoes into the living room while saying, “shhhsss.” He runs to the front door and rummages through the hats and mittens. He puts a stalking hat on and runs into the living room to show off his work, while grinning ear-to-ear. He brings along a mitten for me to put on and then he claps his hands to listen to the sound.

When someone gives him something to do, he runs with such intensity. A chubby-faced toddler on a very serious mission. One hand swinging quickly at his side, while his chubby feet move as quickly as they can. His chubby cheeks shake with each step. Eyes down as he concentrates on the next step. His right thumb in his mouth. Serious business happens at our house. He takes each job very seriously, even if you don’t know he has one. Miss a chance to include him and his face crumbles. Lips curl up. Eyes shut. Tears fall. To the ground he quickly slumps. His hands come up to his eyes to rub away the tears as he expresses his sadness in not helping. {I use the opportunity to check the status of his teeth.}

I hear him huffing and puffing in the hallway. I wiggle around on the couch so I can see him as he rounds the corner. He’s carrying a basket that was filled with toys. Grunting and groaning as his little arms hold on to the handles and he struggles with each step to just.make.it.to.mama. He hands me the basket and releases a huge sigh of relief. I look in the basket and see that it is mostly empty, but there are a few toys. At the end of the night, without suggestion, he picks up his basket and starts the long trek back to his room. Where it landed, I have no idea. I’m sure in the middle of the floor and not back on the shelf, but that’s meaningless to me. He picked up his toys without me asking him to. He remembered that he brought something from his room that should be taken back. {Let’s not talk about the other bedroom toys that are blinding me with their primary brightness on the living room floor.}

I watch him from across the room as he sits at the table like a big boy. When I broke my foot he was still using the tray on his chair. He was sitting next to the table. Now, he’s sitting at the table without the tray. He’s eating off of plates and out of bowls {he was before too}, but they sit ON.THE.TABLE. I watch the concentration it takes to shovel piece after piece into his chubby face. Sometimes using his silverware and somethings using his hands. I don’t care about silverware or hands. It’s a learning experience for him. I watch him make his goldfish “swim” like daddy used to do to him. I watch him sign more as he tries to say the word. It sounds a lot like “mama.” I watch him vigorously sign please as he says “pees.” Please comes more naturally now, almost without suggestion. Thank you is fewer and further between without prompting.

I pull out my phone to take a picture of him. He glances up from playing with a car. He crinkles his nose and smiles as he walks at me. He wants to see the picture. He wants to have the phone. He quickly puts it up to his ear and says, “ello?” I distract him by pulling up a video of him playing drums. He watches with astonishment. I wonder if he knows that’s him. He has to, right? He sees Bryan in the background and says, “Dada!” The video ends and he tries to make it play again. We watch it numerous times and he glances at his drums each time it ends. In an effort to hide my phone, I tell him to go play his drums. I watch him grab his drum sticks and arrange the drums how he wants them {two drums and a tupperware}. He bangs on them with a rhythm I don’t have. I assume this is a natural toddler thing until I see a child older than him bang on them. I realize that Maximus has picked up much more from his daddy. I hope that he’ll enjoy music as much too.

This little 18-month old is fascinating to watch. He’s always busy learning and doing. If there is a bright side to being on bed rest, it is watching this little guy. My heart was pretty full of love for this little guy. Watching him learning and grow every day only makes it overflow.

Life as a conductor

Life around these parts lately. Anything goes since mommy is stuck on the couch 24/7. And daddy, well, he’s doing whatever it takes to get by. Maximus is BUSY, which means my living room looks like an explosion of primary colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPhone pictures are the only thing that gets taken lately. I tried to pull out the camera a couple of days ago, but chubby little hands came flying at me. Since I’m stuck on his level, it didn’t bode too well for the Nikon. It’s much easier to sneak phone pictures.