Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year

I sit here typing, little ones just down for their morning nap, and I reflect upon the last year.
I remember where I was last year at this time. Physically and emotionally.
I was sitting at home,alone while my husband was working. I was probably listening to newborn twins scream at me. I'm sure I was juggling them on my knees and over my shoulder- covered in spit-up, breastmilk, and tears. I was thinking of the New Year to come. How would I survive 2010?!

2010 was a hard year. A joyous year. A year of change. A year of truly becoming a mother.

I made numerous comments to my husband in the first months of the boys' life that I didn't enjoy motherhood. In fact, I hated it. He would hug me and remind me that our babies were so young, that it wouldn't always be like this. It was true. They grew so fast. Those months of crying babies and the endless cycle of nursing, supplementing and pumping were short lived. Those days when I felt like a failure, like I had no idea what I was doing have blossomed into more. I will continue to have days when I feel like I have lost my mind. When I feel like I have lost myself. Only now I understand that they are just bad days. They will end, and new days will begin. Days when I have a handle on things, when naps go well, when baby boys don't get hurt, when there isn't so much crying. I understand how to be a mother, and how to balance it with being Anna.

That was the biggest obstacle in 2010- finding myself again. Once the boys were born, I never thought about ME. It was all about them, my family. I felt like I had lost my identity, like as soon as my babies were born, that Anna was gone. I had spent years trying to become a mother, and somehow as soon as I became one, the person that previously was, had suddenly disappeared.
I thought that as soon as they were born, the book of my life that had been previously titled "Anna" would now be "Anna, subtitle Mama." Instead my book was titled "Mama...milk machine... sleep deprived maniac...crying mess...who in the heck is Anna?!" It took months and months for me to become ME again. I had to accept that the idea of what motherhood in my head looked like, was not necessarily what motherhood really was.
Motherhood is challenging. It's the hardest job there is. You could be a baby whisperer to every baby in the world. Able to soothe any child you come near, quick with an idea or solution to any problem a little one may have, but as soon as you have your own it changes. You become this mess of worry. You question every thing you do. Is it wrong? Is it right? Are you going to mess your kid up?
It took a long time for me to realize how I wanted to do things. What did I do? I closed the books, and stopped scouring the internet for answers. I looked into my heart and did what felt right.
The transformation was a slow process. I had to take it a day at a time. Four months was the "magic" age for twins. It was the age when most parents of multiples agree that it gets easier. It was true for us to. I made a conscious decision to get myself out of the rut. I got out of the house. Wandered stores and malls, whatever I could to feel human again.Slowly it worked. By the time the boys were 7 months I was a pro at popping them in and out of car seats and strollers with one in each arm. I read, I took time for myself without my children. I had to learn that they WERE a part of me, but that I was no less of a person without them near.
In this past year I have learned that I am more than just a mom. I may not work outside the home, but I work damn hard IN it. I give 100% to my kids during the day. But as soon as they are in their cribs for the night, it's ME time. A glass of red wine, an interesting book or movie, a chat with a good friend on the phone. Something to remind me of life outside of children.
This past year, this year 2010. It was hard year. Probably the hardest of my life so far. It changed me. Made me stronger. Made me more appreciative of my own mother.

How do I feel about motherhood these days? It's the best job in the world. I wouldn't change a thing. I adore my children. There are days that I wish I worked outside of the home. Days when I want to use my mind for things other than reading the same board book 30 times in a row. I'd love to be able to eat a meal without having to spoon mouthfuls of organic gluten-free mac and cheese into toddler mouths, in between my own bites. I wouldn't mind listening to an intelligent conversation instead of Raffi singing 5 Little Monkeys.
I always have to take a step back and reevaluate my situation. On days when my boys need their mama a little bit more, I can give it to them. I don't have to say "goodbye" and head to work. I can cuddle them with their blankies all morning, and snuggle them while they nap. It's a blessing.
These boys are constantly smothered in hugs and kisses. They hear their mama thank the Lord for them every single night when we say our prayers.
They make me a better person. They have transformed me and I am ever grateful to them for it.

2011 will be a wonderful year. Full of memory-making potential. Full of more firsts. Including their first "baby" cousin due to arrive this July.
I can't wait.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Favorites

Lately you have this way of melting my heart and making me giggle uncontrollably.

It's they way you both run/walk up to me for an unsolicited hug and slobbery kiss.

It's when I find you hugging one another while looking at pictures in a book.

It's when you constantly share your food with Jack. How you say his name and hold out a piece of delicious cheese, or toast, or avocado. He takes the food, yet lingers to lick the sticky off of your fingers. You giggle because it tickles.

It's the way you say "Uh-oh!!" BEFORE you purposely drop your sippy cup or spoon on the floor.

It's the way you attempt to imitate mama doing push-ups. How you, Nat, get into a downward dog positions and bob your head. And how you, Gabe, get on hands and knees and repeatedly bonk your head on the floor.

It's how you attempt to sit on my chest while I do crunches to try and get rid of this 14 month old post- pregnancy baby pooch.

It's how whenever Gabe says "Ni Ni's!" to indicate to mama that he would like to nurse, Nat hears "knees" and proudly slaps his hands on his little knee caps.

It's how whenever you even hear the word song you both instantaneously doing the actions for Twinkle Twinkle. (It's your current favorite)

It's how in the middle of the night, you still wake, and I still go to comfort you. I pick you up, and within seconds you melt in my arms and are back in dreamland. How could I let you both cry, when all you want is a snuggle from your mama?

It's when I wake up to babies giggling and kicking at 5 am in our bed. Because, yes, we are those parents- the ones that let our crying babies cuddle in our arms in our bed when they are sad during the night. You are only little for such a short amount of time. You won't always want your daddy or me in the night. I'll take it while I can get it.

These are the best things in my world right now.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


This morning you both got to cuddle with mama and daddy in their bed. At first you snuggled into our chests. Then you realized that you were way too old for the snuggling thing and attempted to "dance" and walk all over the bed. You nearly fell off a dozen times.
I gave up on the last attempts at sleep and we hopped out of bed.

Gabe, you learned some new phrases today. "Uh-oh" and "no, no, no." It's the cutest thing.
Nat, at supper time you finally signed "more" when I asked you if you would like more cottage cheese. I was so proud. All those months of teaching you both finally paid off.

I ran to the store and came back expecting to hear two, loud toddlers racing around and screaming with their daddy. Instead, I found Natty sprawled on his daddy's chest, and Gabe in child's pose with his little baby butt sticking up, both fast asleep.

Something containing gluten managed to make it into your mouth Nathaniel. Your baby butt is sore and red, and your tummy bothered you all day today. Mama feels so crummy when something sneaks by me and it causes you pain.

Gabe, we are amazed that even though you started walking 1 1/2 months after your brother, that somehow you have managed to progress so quickly that you can't even tell. You are practically beating him in races when you both attempt to run.

Tonight was one of those evenings when you weren't much interested in rock-a-bye with mama. You would rather snuggle with a blanket in your crib. Gabe, my lone nursling, only need a minute of mama-milk and cuddles.

I cherish the times that you need me to rock you, or when you want to cuddle and nurse for long stretches. Someday you won't be my little boys. Your bedtime routines will consist of a quick hug and "goodnight." You'll cringe at the thought of cuddling with me. You'll be embarrassed to be seen with me in public in front of your friends.
For now, I am your world. Your everything. These days are numbered.

I'll appreciate them while they are here.