Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Turning Corners

This is one of those posts that I am always fearful to write -- as if the act of publishing the words will somehow annoy the Fates and my good fortune will be revoked.  Not that I believe the Fates are regular visitors on my humble blog, of course, but in a moment of boredom they might google "is it ever sunny in Seattle" and inadvertently stumble across my blog (as lots of people do, according to my blog stats) (the answer to that question, by the way, is "apparently not anymore") and they'll read this entry and say, "Holy crap, how did this happen?"  And then they'll send lightning bolts down at me or whatever it is they do exactly to keep human arrogance in check.

But throwing caution to the wind, I will say: I think things are starting to get easier around here.  The key to that sentence, of course, being easiER.  I still steal constant glances at the clock when I am alone with all three boys, counting the minutes until my back-up arrives.  And I had to call my Dad to come over yesterday morning while DH was at work, because at just 8 am I knew it was going to be one of "those days," a day that I would face better if I could at least brush my teeth (which required a second adult if it was going to happen without two small sobbing toddlers clawing at each of my legs while a young preschooler yelled with decreasing patience for his mommy to make him a batch of cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

But yes, easiER.

Part of that is natural maturation.  (Of the kids, of course. Fortunately I don't get any older. Ever. I'm talking to you, rapidly reproducing gray hairs!)  The twins are nearly 14 months old now, and their attention span with toys has increased from 4 seconds to 40 seconds, which affords me the luxury of sneaking into the laundry room to toss in a load of clothes before they 1) realize I left the room and 2) crawl/walk into the laundry room to derail my effort to actually make this house function properly.

But the biggest reason I suspect that raising the boys feels easiER these days is that we are all sleeping.  Ah, blessed and beloved sleep.  How I missed thee!  I still have some remorse that I "forced" (if you will) the twins to wean at 12 months old instead of letting them self-wean like Bean did.  I will say, though, that my life overall is significantly improved (yep, I'm saying it!) since I am no longer breastfeeding the twins.  Mainly due to the restricted calorie diet I can now follow, which is rocking my socks off (14 pounds lost, fitting into some of my smaller clothes and feeling great), and the fact that the twins almost instantly started sleeping 12 straight hours when they could fill up on all the milk they wanted during the day (not limited by my perpetually lackluster supply) and when they realized there would be no nursing for comfort overnight -- just a groggy mommy or daddy with a bottle of milk.  So even though there are new challenges as the twins get older and more mobile, to me it is easier to childproof the entire house than it is to be an effective parent when you are only getting 2 hours of sleep at a time.  Actually, forget effective parent -- effective person.  I couldn't find my bathrobe once for about four days, I was certain that aliens abducted it because there was no! possible! place! in the house where it could be.  Eventually found it hanging on the opposite side of the closet door.  This from the person who, six years ago, earned the highest score in my graduating class when taking the exit exam for my master's degree.  I've been at the top of my game, and I've been at the bottom of my game; now with luck I can settle somewhere in the middle.

(I would like to mention here, though, that although the first year of the parenting twins passed with me in a lingering, robe-losing fog, it was still fantastic and I consider it one of the greatest gifts of my life that I was able to be present for all of it.  Physically present, at least, if not completely on a mental level.  It was both more difficult and more rewarding than I could have imagined.)

And speaking of turning corners, our dear Bean seems to be making his own strides.  The parent educator at our co-op preschool explained that children tend to go in 6-month cycles of being more... challenging and then more stable and easygoing.  I dare say we are entering the phase of stability.  Bean has finally embraced his role at Big Brother, we are hearing less whining about the twins and seeing more kindness and sharing.  Although, Bean will frequently tell on them, such as this morning when he was quite upset to report to me (with a stern frown): "MOM!  Gax told me that I did not eat breakfast this morning.  But I did, Mom, I ate my waffle for breakfast.  Even though Gax said that I did not eat anything."  As a parent I strive to stay neutral, but I will say it's an unexpected challenge not to take sides in a verbal disagreement when one child cannot talk.  But Bean really is a fabulous kid, and I'm glad that he seems to be more at peace right now after a rather extended period of change.

Yes, overall life at Casa de Sunny is moving in a positive direction.  My house is still a disaster, I don't have the time or energy to cook a decent meal, and sometimes I have to fight the urge to lock the kids in their rooms and drink margaritas until I pass out.  (Which wouldn't take long, considering I've been pregnant and/or nursing from June 2007 until only recently.)  But we find ways to have fun and stay sane, and I have known the whereabouts of my bath robe for the past 4 months.  Welcome to the new normal!

And just so you aren't disappointed, pictures.

And last but not least... Happy Memorial Day.  Thank you Troops!
(Okay, I'm a day late, I started this post yesterday.  Sorry!)



Kristina P. said...

I think that sleep is nature's cure for everything.

Mrs.Spit said...

I'm so glad to read this. As I cleaned up mess from 4 animals, I did think of you.

E said...

Glad to hear you are getting more sleep!! Lol on what Bean said about Gax and his breakfast.

How did you get them to eat with forks?? V's fork always ends up on the floor.

Leah Rubin said...

Awesome! So good to know that there IS light at the end of the tunnel! The boys are just so beautiful!

Stef said...

I love the way you write! We need to hang out more - we both have the same sense of sarcastic humor :)
We had fun with you guys a few weeks ago and I was completely impressed with Bean's sweetness with the girls and his kind way of sharing his things and just being an overall good buddy to them. I know most little boys have a hard, hard time with all that at his age, so kudos to you guys!

Also, YAY on the sleeping better and the good corner turned {knock on wood} hoping it all continues for you!

St Elsewhere said...

Love the fact that life seems to have become easier. I love the pics (as always), and took note of your industrious boys who helped you reorganize your kitchen. Good training, really!

IF Optimist, then... said...

Happy to know that things are getting easier for you. All I could think of as I read was "AMEN!" Sleep (which we are also finally getting around here) is a huge thing and I take care of the girls by myself for most of the day. So glad to know that Bean is doing well too. Hugs!

Sarah said...

I think I said that last paragraph of yours word for word myself! Hilarious! Yes, house a mess, family meals are questionable, and a need to lock the kids in their rooms (or me in mine! - heck I'd settle to go to the toilet by myself with no interruption!). If it's like that for me now, what will it be like when #3 arrives?! At least the worst of the stressing immediate construction is over and we are feeling more at home these days. So jealous of the 14 pounds lost! CONGRATULATIONS!!! All I'm doing now is sweating balls in this 100 degree heat and gaining more and more weight. I'll need your tips! I hate being huge and so hope I'll be able to get back into shape once and for all!!! Baby gate is closed!!! (Like or not DADDY!!!) So happy that everything is going better for you guys! You are so amazing and deserve it! Love, Sarah

Lisa said...

awww, yeah, always happy to see a post from sunny! so glad to hear that life seems to be mellowing out a bit....sleeping, losing 14lbs, sounds good to me! :)

The boys are precious as always and getting so big. how does it seem to happen almost over night?!?!

Coffeegrljp said...

Fantastic! Sounds like an amazing and fun time in your house right now. I definitely think that "things happen in 6 month bursts" is an excellent observation and definitely applies around here!

Alana said...

Wonderful update! Glad to hear things are getting easiER with day-to-day living around your house. And HALLELUJAH for sleep! :)

sonja said...

Your babies are seriously adorable!! =) Don't they grow up so fast?