Sunday, December 23, 2012

There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays

We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Oklahoma and wow...I am really really really glad to be home. A lot of Sean's family, many of whom I hadn't met yet, were getting together and we wanted to be able to see everyone but make it home for Christmas here.

It was a lovely idea, but logistically it turned into a huge Charlie Foxtrot. We left Friday durng a snowstorm that delayed almost every flight. Our initial flight was delayed three hours before we were squeezed onto an earlier flight that was leaving right-this-instant oh my God get the bags get the kids GO GO GO! Our  connection was delayed, it took two hours to find the hotel because the hotel manager could not give us directions. One would assume that since you work in a hotel where lots of out of town travelers stay you might want to be able to give directions from say, the airport, to the hotel. But no. Not possible. Finally, I ended up calling my best friend who lives in New York City who googled the directions in under two minutes. Takes this and put it to the tune of Rory screaming himself hoarse. Nonstop.  Yeah, we were those people on your flight. You're welcome.

The bright spot was getting to meet Sean's lovely family. I can't believe we've been married for three years and this was the first time I was able to meet his aunts, uncle and cousin. They are really lovely people and we had a great time spending Saturday with them. Aiden was absolutely in his element with Sean's sister and his cousins son and they ran around like hooligans all afternoon. So, huge success there.

The return trip involved more delayed and overbooked flights. More screaming, although slightly less than the trip down and just utter exhaustion. Still, it was worth it to get to see the family. Hopefully we'll be able to do it again when Rory is a little bit older.

But now we're home. Did I mention I am so glad to be home? Tomorrow I plan on getting some food prepared for Christmas day, making one last batch of cookies, watching Christmas movies and not leaving the house. For about three days.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 Years

My baby is five years old today.  It has been a very busy year and full of huge changes for all of us, especially him. He went from being the baby to being the big brother to the baby. During my pregnancy I was very aware of just how much Aiden's world was about to change and it made me feel an extra need to cherish our time together. This sense of urgency, combined with being too tired to stress over the small stuff, meant that I was probably more patient and laid back than I have ever been in my life. I felt like this past spring I got to know him better than ever.

And then his brother came along. Aiden, who has always been exceptionally easy going, suddenly became less so.  The little boy who would calmly do whatever I asked when I asked it disappeared and was replaced with someone who didn't always agree with me and frequently had no intention of doing anything I told him to do. It was very frustrating at first, especially when dealing with another child to will not be reasoned with, and I couldn't help but wonder why. Why are you doing this? Aiden has definitely matured this past year and yes, sometimes that means thinking for himself. And really, that is a very good thing. Suddenly he's full of "but why?" and "I don't understand" and even  more frequently "YOU don't understand". I realized that, when the baby came along, we were inadvertently counting on him to just be his usual obedient self and maybe overlooking him a bit. He has learned to speak up and let us know when he needs us, when he needs attention and when he has something to say. We try very hard to make sure he is always heard.

Now that there are two of them I feel like I am always running back and forth trying to make sure everyone is taken care of and feels cherished and loved and adored. I also feel like I am failing miserably at it. This year we didn't plan a big birthday to-do for Aiden like we did last year. He has twice the number of kids in his class so a party would've been gigantic and expensive and frankly exhausting to plan. We considered taking him somewhere, but once again, I just couldn't find the time or energy to get it all planned out. He had a party with family instead. The cake fell apart, there weren't enough plates, his treats to share with his class at school were nearly ruined. I took him out today to buy a special birthday cupcake and bought a juicebox and totally forgot the cupcake. He never complains. He tells me he thinks it's cool how the cake went in three different directions and he doesn't mind all the different plates and he didn't care that the school treats were kind of funny. "And mom? It's okay about the cupcake 'cuz I forgot too".

He's been such a trooper this year and all  I want is for him to know that even though life is crazy right now, and his brother needs a lot of attention and mommy is always running around but that I am always thinking about him. I tell him so  every day, and I hug him hard even when he squirms and squeals and runs away and I do my best to have patience and listen and let him know that I'm here. I'm always here. I just hope that he knows.

When Rory was born I was pleasantly surprised at how so much of caring for a baby comes back to you. Diapers and nursing and all of it are second nature to me now. Even when Rory is fussy and difficult I still know the basics of caring for an infant. But five year olds? This is brand new territory.