Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Can't Hear Myself...

I'm afraid to search back through to find when my last REAL blog post was written. Not that the posts over the last 2 years haven't been worthwhile or meaningful, but they have become quite a bit different than the reflective journals I once spent time writing.

The truth is... while I love my life - my kids, my husband - all the blessings that I have been given in such a short time... I can't hear myself think anymore. My entire day is consumed with meeting each and every need my girls have, and desperately trying to meet even a couple of my husband's! I found very quickly that two kids so close in age was FAR more than twice the work of one. It's a fabulous day if they share a nap and in that time maybe, just maybe, I can throw in some laundry, clean up the kitchen, fix dinner, or Praise God sit down at the actual computer (rather than my iPhone) to check my email.

I know it sounds like I'm complaining (OK... I probably am) - believe me I know that many would give anything to be in my position - and MANY have it far more chaotic with more kids and more demands - but regardless from my own perspective, this phase of my life is........ tough. Last night after getting Ella to bed, I promptly handed Eric the monitor blaring with her cries and pleads for "2 more minutes of rocking" and less than convincing "have to go potty's"... got in my car, and drove away from it all. It's not the constant demands or neediness, as much as the fact that it's hard to not lose yourself when everyone wants a piece of you. I'm a pretty deep thinker... I have always analyzed and processed things - especially myself - constantly... and there just isn't time for that anymore.

Don't get me wrong... I wouldn't trade my place in life for anything - but driving around last night it was amazing to me how absent my own thoughts have been, and how starved a Mom can get for any amount of time to call her own. I never felt this way when it was just Ella and I... had things gone on with Ricky longer than they had I'm sure I would have... but now with 2 demanding babies at different stages on needs... I'm definitely getting my butt kicked on a daily basis!

What I would give to master the art of balancing it all... but I think for now much of it revolves around surrendering. I heard a friend say once that she finally resolved within herself that these years were simply not about her... and that was how it was supposed to be. I like that... but in the back of my mind, while I truly enjoy each and every moment of my girl's lives, I know that I would enjoy them to the fullest with my own identity intact. It's something I want them to learn as well... so who better to teach them, than myself.

:) Perhaps it's a good thing I don't have the time to write these "real" blog posts anymore... they aren't nearly as uplifting as those adorable photos. Pictures don't always tell the whole story, do they? Don't worry... the smiles, laughs, and irresistable cuteness are most definitely the real thing. I never knew how much fun it would be to watch your own baby learn how to be - a person. I can't think of anything better. They are worth each and every sacrifice - even when you want to put them out on the curb for the nearest passerby - or just your husband when he gets home from work. And yes... I know that "one day I'll look back and long for the days of diaper changes, rocking, whining (I doubt this one), etc...". Believe me... I'm trying to treasure each and every little thing they throw at me. It does go so fast... yet another reason why despite how much staying at home with the girls can wear me down, I am SO grateful that I am able to work casually and spend as much time with them as possible. I wouldn't change that for the world... (most days... :).

So that pretty much sums up the reflection. Ironic I had to come to work to get that written! :) And because I still can't NOT post the million photo highlights of this past month... scroll on down for the good stuff. :)

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Claire - 8 Months

If you haven't caught on already, this is our little firecracker. She was sent to us so that we would appreciate all the more the ease and tentative nature of our firstborn, and no doubt to instill empathy for the parents out there who are all too familiar with "the strong-willed child". Out of the two... we're pretty sure we know who will be sneaking out, and who will be ratting out. I can almost guarantee which one we will find climbing trees and who will hide away in their room reading books... Claire will probably crawl out of her crib long before Ella even realizes she's sleeping behind bars, and she will most certainly require those buckle restraint things they put in high chairs and shopping carts. (Ella always thought they were there as some sort of puzzle entertainment... I figured the same.) Claire refuses to be rocked and rarely settles down for a snuggle. But place in her in crib with her teddy bear and music and she'll smile happily and be asleep in a minute. She's pulling herself up to a standing position and trying to take steps while holding our hand. (Ella had yet to even start crawling at this point). She's already fallen and hit her head more times than I can count, prefers regular food to that BABY bottle most days, and is already doing her darnedest to show her older sister who's boss. All in all she's definitely given Mommy a run for her money pretty much day 1... but I can honestly say in the same breath that she is and probably always will be a LOAD of fun. Mixed in with all the strength and determination however, is such a sweet and happy spirit. We can't get enough of her and love the added dynamic she is bringing to our family!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2 Years Old!

Miss Ella turned the big 2 a couple weeks ago!!! We took a trip to the zoo with our new membership thanks to Grandma and Papa Brunsting's birthday present... saw Elmo Live, and had our very own Elmo Birthday Party. Good times! She is ridiculously fun these days (well... MOST days)... has quite the vocabulary and will try to say just about everything. She is particularly good at self disciplining herself and her sister... "Sit down Ella..."... "Ella!!! Why you throw Elmo out of the crib???"... "Ella???? Want a time out???? Want a time out Ella????". It is hard to keep a straight face much of the time...

We recently conquered potty training with a 3 day crash course... and I'm thrilled to say that even though it actually took us 5-6 days, it was a total success! Good thing too because I would have been TICKED if I had gone through the all the stress of those first 2 days for nothing!!! Yikes! But turns out it was WELL worth it to have the milestone behind us. A little more work when we're out and about - but she's been doing awesome.
Ella is our Timid Genious in the family. She knows her ABC's, colors, most shapes, and counts to 16. It is amazing to me how she picks up on things and commits them to memory. She also sings constantly - my favorite characteristic of hers... I know one day I will miss the medleys of Sunday School songs and mispronounced words terribly. Ella is the timid one... she's afraid of... well... everything. Fleas and flies especially. New situations take some coaxing - but we're pretty sure her little sister will help her conquer some of these fears.
I seemed to have forgotten to take many pictures of the actual Birthday on my camera so I'm waiting for friends and family to share their lot (hint, hint)... In the meantime... here are a few of her other highlights...

Crack Kills

"Is that a bug??"

A very sweet big sister


Ella and Isie having a grand time with the watering can...

Sporting my new panties and washing my hands...

Tentatively removing the sprinkles...

Grandma B. made my fabulous cake!!

A little bit star-struck...

"You need something??"

Our dear friend, Hopey...