Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Decision That Wasn't So Hard

Before I had children, and even after I had Ainsley and Freddie, I had pretty much convinced myself that I wanted 4 children.  I tried to take it step by step and not plan too far into the future, but still everyone thinks about what's next even if they're enjoying what is.

When I was pregnant with Cohen, I started questioning what I wanted.  Suddenly Clif was very on board with having a 4th, but I was feeling that third pregnancy.  I was 35.  Pregnant and 35 is WAY different than pregnant and 29 or pregnant and 32.  What would pregnant at 38 be like?  I wasn't sure I wanted to find out.

Then Cohen arrived and I suddenly felt very content.  Clif was quick to take back his ideas about a 4th.  In the hospital he said "I think three is good."  But I was not ready to give in.  Even though I had this overwhelming sense of "this is it," I still had that image in my mind and it wasn't easy to let go.  I insisted that we wait until Cohen was 1 year.  At that point we'd decide.

The idea of change is hard.  Harder than the actual change sometime.  The anticipation of a new job or a move or a change to the plan brings on way more anxiety for me than the actual event.  It was hard for me to believe that it would be the last time I experienced the excitement of pregnancy, the joy of a new baby, the comfort of nursing, the softness of pudgy hands and feet.

But then suddenly it wasn't.

From the moment he was born, I felt a stillness.  A calm.  All summer, home with the kids I felt so happy and content.  I don't need to wait for the 1 year mark.  I just know that Cohen will be our baby.  He will be it.

Clif and I have never been ones to worry about what a new baby will do to finances.  It's all temporary.  And you know one helped me pay for college or a new car or my wedding or a house or anything, and I'm doing okay.  So that has absolutely nothing to do with it.  Right now we have 5 people and 2 dogs crammed into a 1400 square foot townhouse.  So it's not about space.  We've never had an issue loving another baby, so it's not about that either.  Babies and kids are hard...but the rewards so outweigh all the sleepiness and clinginess and business.

I can't give you an explanation.  It just is.  I know there will be no more babies and that decision was not as hard as I expected.  It actually wasn't hard at all.  Clif and I just said it one night at dinner.  There were no tears or heartache.  Actually, I believe there were some jokes and laughter.

So my thoughts of the future are no longer occupied with baby things and baby clothes.  For the first time in over 7 years I'm looking at what comes next.  Welcoming the idea of not being pregnant or nursing or diapering.  I've even thought about a mini vacation, with my husband, by ourselves!  I've thought about what kind of house we want to buy knowing our family is complete. 

And it is complete.  No doubt that each of my children have provided a huge, chunky, piece of that puzzle.  There are no more holes.  No missing pieces.  We are content and we are whole.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Little Liars

When I first started back to work, I wrote this post...
 The Facts of Life

Here I am about 7 months in and I'm still looking for that new normal.  That balance of employee, mom, wife, housekeeper, cook, event planner, and all the other jobs I'm too tired to name right now.

Blogging is so far down on my list of things to do.  I think about it.  I think about it all the time.  I think, remember when I just used to blog about little random things?  Remember when I used to tell stories?  Remember when I used to be funny or serious or emotional?  Remember when I didn't just post big things?  Remember when I posted every holiday or vacation or activity?

Well, I do remember.  But time is not on my side these days.  Right now, I should definitely be working.  I was just off for a week for Spring Break.  I tried to catch up yesterday since I'm in meetings from 9AM today until Noon on Thursday, but I barely made it through email and voice mail. 

But guess what, I have a story.  Just a small little thing.  But something I never want to forget.

My Freddie is four.  I had forgotten how much I love four.  Four is incredible.  It's definitely one of my favorite ages.  Freddie does four awesomely!  I love how four is stuck between a baby and a kid.  More than any other age - so far - it is very transitional.  Four year olds have big vocabularies, but still have lisps and pronunciation issues.  Four year olds are totally self sufficient...almost, if you don't mind milk on the floor or shirts on backwards or shoes on the wrong feet.  Four year olds can wash their hands and brush their hair, with a step stool.

But I love it.  I love the imagination that suddenly appears.  I love the questions from nowhere.  I love that little pudge hand in mine.  I love the constant conversation.  I love the energy.  I even love the little fibs, because how can you not laugh at someone so determined to mislead you, yet not mature enough to pull it off?

Yesterday we walked in the door and just like every day Freddie announced that he was hungry.  I gave him some cereal while I walked the dogs.  When I came in with Gatsby Freddie asked "Mommy, I'm still hungry.  Can I have some shochocolate?" (side note - I wish I could do justice to his little voice in cute)

"Not right now Freddie.  Maybe after dinner."

I come back from walking Brinkley and Freddie said "Mommy, I didn't have any shocholate."  I didn't ask, didn't accuse.  He just said it as soon as I closed the door behind me.

I turn around to this...

"Freddie, you have chocolate on your face."

He screws up his nose, cocks his eyes and says "What?!?!?!"

I nod and say "Yes, you have chocolate on your face.  So you did have chocolate?"

"No I DIDN'T have shocholate.  Mommy, that's just dirt."

Okay, well then, excuse me.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Freddie IV

Dear Freddie,

I'm finishing this today if it kills me.  I started this the day after your birthday...2.5 weeks ago.
I'm beyond late.

The other day you pouted your lip from your car seat and said "Mommy, Daddy hit me today."  You crossed your arms over your chest and "hmphed."

"He hit you?"  I responded and you nodded.
"Well, why would he do that?" I asked.

"Um, weill...he told me not to pee on the tree, but there was no terlit, so I peed on a tree."

"This happened today?" I asked

"No, at soccer.  Daddy says I can pee on a tree at soccer because there is no terlit.  There is a terlit but it is yucky and I don't like yucky terlits."

"But you said Daddy hit you today because you peed on a tree?  I'm not sure I understand."

You stared back at me in the rear view mirror.

"Mommy, what's for dinner?" you asked and the whole hitting-peeing on tree story is over.

I texted Daddy, he had no idea what I was talking about.

You make me laugh.  Everyday.  Your stories, your shy grin, your clompy run, your gruff voice...everything about you makes me smile.

You are such a boy.  I told you the other day that Cohen's first word was going to be either poop or penis and it was going to be your fault.  You giggled and fell to the floor because I said poop and penis.

You are so rough.  You turn everything into a weapon.  You run around pretending to be a cowboy or a Power Ranger or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, or most recently, a Jedi.

Your imagination is getting out of control.  I am astounded by the games you and your sister can come up with.  You know no limits.

Your hair is amazing.  Any girl would kill for your hair.  It's the perfect shade of blonde and full of wave.  Strangers compliment you daily.  Even the little old ladies who think you're a girl.

You are very sensitive.  Your feelings get hurt easily.  You have a giant heart, and it breaks easily.  You are shy and wary of strangers.

On the way home from your birthday party you said "Mommy, is it steill my birfday?"
I told you it wasn't, it was just your party.  You asked "Can we stop singing happy birthday to Freddie?"  You hate it.  You always have.  You don't like being the center of attention.

You are so smart.  I mean, you just pick things up so quick...I'm amazed at what you know and what you can do.  Your teachers adore you.  You are going to be that kid that everyone loves, even though you question everything and maybe get yourself in trouble.  It's impossible to be mad at you.  You have a reason for everything you do.

I love watching your little brain work.  You are curious.  You have an answer for every question and a question for every answer.

You asked me "Mommy, where is your frow up when you are not frowing up?"
"Well, buddy, you only throw up when you're sick in your belly.  So if you're not sick in your belly, the food stays in your belly," I answered.
'Ewww Mommy!  I don't eat frow up!" you yelled.
"Freddie, it's not throw up when you eat it, it's food.  If you have a sick belly, it becomes throw up."
You gave me that "whatever you say" look and said "That is yucky."

Something happens at 4.  It's like all the way through being 3, you're still this baby/toddler type person.  Then 4 hits and you're a certified kid.  I'm loving you as a kid.  If I were a kid, I'd want you to be my friend. You are this perfect mix of sweet and rotten, sensitive and loud, sweet and funny.  I am so looking forward to this year with you.

I have endless stories about you.  You are my little clown, my dirty mouth, my sweet cuddle bear.  So much of my happiness is wrapped up in your little hand.

I love you Freddie monster.  I can't believe you're 4.  I hope it's the most awesome year yet.


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