Thursday, June 11, 2015

Closing the Door, Then Cracking the Door, Then Closing it Again on Baby Years

I usually don't share things like this. I used to. I used to be fine and happy to write out what I feel inside. Then I began to worry if people were actually listening.

Beautiful baby boys. I have two of them. I wrap them up in love every day, and some days I feel overwhelmed by their strong kicks (to my stomach) and words that come easy since they are comfortable with me (like sharp demands for more snacks), but we're always working on manners, and I absolutely adore them.

As most mothers do, I celebrate their advances and also wish they would slow down growing. I want them to be my babies forever, but day-to-day life truly does get easier as they become more autonomous.

My husband and I planned to stop at two. These boys make me feel so happy and fulfilled. But, at the same time, my heart has always whispered, "One more?"

There are so many arguments against trying for a third.
Aren't two overwhelming enough?
We've made it so far.
Do you want to start over again?
Will you be able to give enough love to three?
Will your schedules bend enough for three?
And work. What about work? How hard will that be?
You JUST started teaching residentially again.
And one of the kids will have to move into the room over the garage eventually. And then where will guests sleep?
Pregnancy is hard....
Labor is hard.... 
Nursing is hard....
Do you really want to risk another miscarriage? Remember how devastating that was?
AND COLLEGE?! How are you even going to pay for college for two kids, let along THREE?
And your marriage. Won't a third mean even less completed sentences between you and your husband.
And you gave away A LOT of baby clothes and gear. Want to buy that all over again? 
And also your maternity clothes.
Are you ready to not sleep for a year again?

And to worry the entire pregnancy?
Even if you have another baby, that isn't going to make your current kids stop growing. They're going to grow up. All of them. Having another one isn't going to let you re-live their infanthoods. That time is over.

So, after all of that, I usually come to the conclusion that no, we won't try for a third.

And then this month, my period was late. It was missing, actually. When I was a week late, I wondered What if?  And I felt scared. "Well, excited AND scared." I love my boys dearly, but with both of them (and my miscarried baby), I felt both excited and scared when I found out I was pregnant.

A week and a HALF went by. My What if? turned into I hope! I even started talking to Chris about names. NAMES. I day dreamed. I estimated a due date. I ordered pregnancy tests online because even now, with two babies and almost 29 years old, I still feel weird buying pregnancy tests. Awkward... Maybe it would be a girl. I would name her Magnolia, my favorite tree. I've never met anyone named Magnolia. If it were a boy, I'd name him Desmond (if Chris would agree). People would make Lost jokes since we'd have a Jack and a Desmond. I started mentally working up my eye roll routine for those "three boys?!" comments from strangers. I felt a new adventure. I hoped. I hoped. I hoped.

And then, after two weeks, that dream was over.

No third baby.

And with a sigh, I said, Okay. Okay, okay. The morning was quiet. Both boys slept in. I looked at old photos of them an newborns and infants. And I smiled. I loved my time with them. I loved my babies. But I love my time with them now as boys. Jack will be two in two weeks. That breaks my heart, but I love him so dearly. He is so sweet and I am excited for his language to continue to develop. Eliot will turn five in the winter. Such a big boy. He is doing amazing things every day. We write books together--he tells me the words, I write them down, and he draws the pictures. He's a little athlete and great student--he loves school. Maybe two is enough. Maybe if I had a third, I'd always yearn for another because my natural instinct as a woman is to create life to nurture. Maybe that's just who I am. Maybe I am closing the door on the baby years and locking that door, but I don't necessarily have to throw away the key right now. I'm so thankful for both of my boys. They're not babies anymore. And that's okay.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Day in the Life

Ever wonder where your day goes? This is where mine went. Not complaining. Just looking at it all go by.

6:00 am. Jack wake-up call.
6:20 am. Eliot is awake and creepily hiding in the hall and murmuring about wanting the ipad. Make breakfast for the boys.
7:20 am. 1.3 mile family walk!
7:50 am. Make an egg for myself for breakfast while everyone else has absolute meltdowns over the fact that I am unavailable for their whims.
8:00 am. Help kids draw and color so they don't kill eachother.
8:30 am. Pack up the kids and go to the park.
9:20 am. 1.5 mile run around the lake.
9:40 am. Play at the park! They're having a great time and behaving really great.

11:00 am. Leave the park. Kids demand Sonic slushes. Ok...
11:30 am. Home! Make kids lunch.
12:00 pm. I take a shower.
12:30 pm. Jack goes down for a nap.
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm. Play games and watch Godzilla with Eliot. Eat yogurt and almonds for lunch in bed. Sneak in a power nap in between Godzilla battles.

2:30 pm - 3:15 pm. Deep clean the bathrooms and kitchen.
3:30 pm. Jack wakes up! What a long nap! Get him a snack.
4:00 pm. Go to Home Depot with Chris for mulch; go to Target with Chris for food.
5:45 pm. Home and unload groceries... Make dinner. Chris grills chicken and I chop veggies.
6:15 pm. Eat dinner. 
6:30 pm. Take the boys into Eliot's room to play Hungry, Hungry Hippos until Jack breaks it and the boys fight. Then play dinosaurs. Read books... Clean up Eliot's room whenever they're distracted enough.
7:30 pm. Eliot has another meltdown over I-don't-know-what because he is tired. I read to him in bed and tuck him in for the night.
8:15 pm. Jack is outside playing with Chris. They're having a great time, but it is bedtime.
8:30 pm - 8:45 pm. Jack throws fits getting dressed, throws a chair on my foot, and cries until he passes out.
8:45 pm. Work emails.
9:30 pm. This, for some reason.