christmas. with children is so different than christmas. as a child. different expectations. different views. anticipations. you see things through these eyes that sparkle and believe in mgic and happiness and the power of all that is possible. at least that is the hope. and at least for hook that is still true. the wigglers. meh. they still don’t really care yet. just another day. they woke up this morning to flashing lights and sirens. as did i. sadly our next door neighbors home was on fire. windows were being smashed out. the roof was having holes poked in it. beds patted down. seven children live in that house. seven. two families. it was 4:45am. and i was wide awake. smoke billowing out of their roof. and all i could think was where are they? where are the kids? what do they need? i came downstairs. looked around. assessed the situation. m came down as well. i made some coffee. admired the tree. juxtaposed to the smoke in the background. and the red and white lights flashing in my house. the wigglers were awake. i brought them down. they were uninterested in the tree. the gifts. balance bikes. anything else. just wanted to see the trucks. look out the windows. and once the trucks were gone i went to check on hook. the kids next door are his friends. they play in our house. we go to the bus stop with them. so i shielded him a bit. for the sake of christmas. we opened gifts. at first the wigglers wanted to open one thing and play with it. then they suddenly decided they wanted to open everything. all at once. and it wasn’t even 6:30am. exhausting. and amusing. all at the same time. hook was excited and pleased. legos. a guitar and lessons. books. ET. i took half the wigglers toys. stashed them away. to dole out later. too much. with a birthday. and xmas. nine days apart. a quiet day. spent in pajamas. with a nap. for most of us. a bubble bath for the twins. bed time antics. elf. and a magnificent dinner. time with my family. the ones who matter. and mean the most. merry xmas to all.
thinking of all those who have lost so much as of late. newtow.n. new york. next door. india. darfur. suffering all over. doing what i can. to raise good people. and make things right. one way or another.
insanity? thievery? pure exhaustion? or maybe all of the above. the wigglers are now officially two. last year it seemed so momentous. i think i my mind i have idealized it. we had a plan. and a party. and amazing cakes m made. and this year it was less hoopla and more survival. lets be honest – they don’t care if they have a birthday party. they would not know the difference. or maybe they would. but we have no family here. amazing friend – yes. and people closer to us than actual family, but the point remains it just seemed like too much. for some reason the past few months have been harder. perhaps because of the colder (but not really MN cold) weather and less chance to run amok. or the increased monkey climbing antics. or m and i both having an increased work schedule. but seriously i feel way more exhausted right now than i did last year at this time. or maybe that isn’t true. but i have just sufficiently blocked it from my mind. i was trying to make an appt today with my doctor for my migraines. i haven’t seen him in over a year. i was opposed to taking my preventative while bfing. but then when i thought i was towards weaning i asked for a refill. wish granted. but then magoo kept up the bfing for a few more months and the migraines were somewhat tolerable. anyhow. today i call and he is scheduled out a bit. what is a bit. until july. hmm. so i leave a message explaining i am taking the to.pa.max again. and don;t know if i need refills or followup or what. the woman said we haven’t issued you an rx in over a year. my how time flies. or evaporates or something…
lately i am working late. and wrangling monkeys unwilling to stay in their cribs. and up early again. to begin again. all of which i value. and appreciate. but it is wearing. exhausting. m works crazy hard to run 10 stores. and she is tired. and i am tired. and something needs to be tweaked because i feel like i am missing out on a whole lot these days. we upped the nanny hours (amazing how differently your children behave for others). and it is stilla struggle to get everything accomplished. provide each kid with enough attention. hook is incredible. so so helpful. and kind. and he gets short shrift because he is older. and responsible. and knows the wigglers require more right now. not fair but rality.
and this morning to keep things fun my car was broken into. i should not be surprised. and yet i was incredulous. only looking for electronics apparently. my cord for my work laptop gone (only day i have EVER taken it out of my bag). phone chargers. a few dollars buried under donation receipts (irony at its finest). and my sweet boys kin.d.le fir.e. hook won a contest at school and could pick between a DS.3 or a kin.d.le. he picked the kindle because he loves to read. devours books. was in the midst of reading book five in the box car children series. he was sad. but said not to replace it. he would ask santa for it. same kid who offered me this very device last week after magoo threw mine to the floor and cracked the screen. he has this beautiful spirit. absolutely incredible. we have amazing friends and family. near and far. they pulled together and offered help immediately. but really it is just stuff. not life changin. not traumatic. just replaceable stuff. and hook gets that. but is allowed to be sad all the same. m’s mom immediately pulled through and ordered a replacement. my SIL’s friends offered to throw in money for another. and my other SIL extended an offer to get a replacement as well. when bad things happen you need to focus on the good. i believe this holds true for something as simple as a car break in to the horrific tragedies in newtown. i haven’t talked about it because it is overwhelming. and sad. i know people in that town. i grew up close to there. used to visit my earliest childhood best friend there after they moved from across the street. devastating is an understatement. but i refuse to let us all be beaten down. and cower in fear. of course i want to wrap my kids in a bubble. keep them there. home school them through college and then pick their significant others (not really). but it makes you hold so much tighter when the fragility and impermanence of life is thrust in front of you in such a violent and tragic way. so yeah. we lost some stuff today. someone took it. i hope they use the money to feed their family. or buy gifts for their kids. or alleviate their suffering however they need too. does it make it okay? no. but it helps me to sleep at night.
i keep throwing pebbles out there. little acts of good will. a book of stamps to a waiting line in the post office. a donation of toys to good.will. or shopping for a homeless family. it all counts. it all matters. i have to believe people are genuinely good. and kind. and caring. sometimes they just need to be gently nudged in that direction….
So yesterday I received a lovely holiday decoration from the ladies at lezbemoms. I will post a picture as soon as I get back home. check! It was a lovely gift and I feel fortunate that this exchange exists so we as a community can get to know one another and spread some cheer. And I think we could all use a little extra cheer these days in light of the atrocities going on around us…
The craft for my
unlucky recipients (that admittedly looks like it was made by a 7 year old – Pin.te.rest makes me think I can be all crafty and stuff – I’m not) is sitting beside me on the car seat. Boxed up and addressed. It is going out today. It is. it is. hook scolded me this morning for not sending it yet. So so sorry for the delay but it will be there soon. I promise! And them you can heartily laugh and hope I never send you anything again. it has been mailed – ETA of Friday – late I know. bad bad Jill. whoops.
Pictures to follow soon.
And thanks for all the birthday wishes for the Wigglers. They have already assured me this year will be no easier than the last. But I’m ready for it… Please pass the wine.
tomorrow my sweet sweet babies will be two. two whole years old. 731 days old (thanks to a leap year in there). i wish i could say i remember them all. i wish i could say they have all been easy. and fun. and i have never felt overwhelmed. exhausted. or downright depressed. but that would not be true. my children are indeed the lights of my life. i cannot imagine who or where i would be without them. they bring me immeasurable joy. and at time intense anger. and extreme sadness. hook was indeed my first wish. and the wigglers – they were my little miracles. it took years. and i must say i think those years were needed. i grew. i learned. i changed. i learned how to parent. and i believed that i deserved to parent these amazing little beings.
i look at them now. tonight. sleeping. in their cribs at the moment (but as you all know that is subject to change at any moment). they have no idea that tomorrow is momentous. no idea this is the anniversary of their birth. no concept of what it took to make them. grow them. or give birth to them. but i do. those days i remember so very clearly. the procedures. the months of pregnancy. the immense swelling of my belly as two little lives kicked around inside. the incredible love i felt for them from the instant i saw them on the ultrasound screen and the overwhelming fear i often felt at the thought of anything happening to either of them. once i saw them both i knew they needed one another. loved one another. and were a pair. and indeed they are.
i will not say the past year has been easy. in some ways it has actually been more difficult than the first year. most days i feel like i am just trying to survive them. i have little people now not little babies. they run. and jump. and climb EVERYTHING. they throw things. hit one another. and belly laugh nonstop. they cry. and can only sometimes articulate what they want or need. they are best friends. and worst enemies. but in the end they rely on one another. whether it is to push things together to escape from a room (lord help me). or to cuddle and rub one anothers back. or to share snacks and toys. i have been driven past the point of exhaustion. and held completely captive by how amazing it is to watch them grow and change by leaps and bounds on a daily basis. at times i cannot help but laugh when magoo says “damn cindy lou is upstairs again” or “no magoo. we don’t hit. time out for you.” they are coming into their own. so different in so many ways and still bound together in so many others. as much as i wonder how we get through the days at times i could not imagine it any other way – nor would i want to. they are individuals. with their own needs. their own wants. and their own directions (usually opposite). but they also are my little pair of babies. heathens. goons. monsters. love muffins. and miracles. with an amazing big brother who provides an exceptional example of love. life. and kindness.
happy second birthday my littlest loves. you have enriched my life far more than you will ever know. you were so worth the wait.
two turn tables and a microphone. or not. so yeah. not sure where i left off. magoo is back in his crib. m turned it around so the higher part is in front and for some reason this has confounded him… not sure why but i will take however many days it buys me. tough his new schtick at bedtime is screaming to “get down. get down.” so one of us usually needs to sit in there nearly forever until he falls asleep. cindy lou usually happily chats, sings, or browses through books. she can get out without issue but for whatever reason she has seemingly called a hiatus on crib escapes. i will take it. knock on something large and made of pine please….
oh and then there is work. so for the past few or eight months i have been working part time. mostly from home. i am (regrettably perhaps) one of those legal types. i contacted the company i used to work for and they had some availability for me so i took it. twenty hours a week. i commissioned a nanny part-time (former day care worker at hooks daycare) for about ten hours a week. and all was going swimmingly. kind of. working with kids at home is hard. they have no interest in you working while they are awake. and when they aren’t awake you have a million other things to do. including nap. i must admit that when the wigglers were little i NEVER EVER napped. seriously. i was so sleep deprived but i could not nap. now i am all about it. i sleep horribly so an hour or two of shut eye in the afternoon is pure bliss. anyhow. back to work. i am technically a contractor. my own business. self employed. i even have a fancy LLC and all that. and business banking accounts (i won;t recount that story but suffice it to say i doubt the banker will forget it anytime soon). so all is going along sideways swimmingly. not dead. but not all that great either. and I get a phone call. new policy for company A. 40 hours or nothing. this is Wednesday late afternoon. they would like an answer by Friday. at the latest. i won’t lie. the money is lucrative. the work. boring as all get out. but the opportunity to put my family in a better place is enticing. and i feel like i should be able to do it (based on the principle that sleep is not really necessary). so m and i discuss. and as reluctant as i am. for oh so many reasons i concur. and so it is. full time contractor beginning next week. but i only contacted the nanny for 28 hours. hmm. this seems difficult. impossible – no. problematic – yes. i feel like a magician nervous for their first trick. or a race car driver embarking on innumerable laps hoping not to crash. we shall see. is this where i want to be? not even close. is it where we might need to be right now? perhaps…
i know so many out there work in cyber land work with one or more kids. but full time without full time help, three kids, two dogs (including a lovely neurotic sweet weimeraner), a cat, and five non-egg producing chickens…. any advice is appreciated and much needed…