As I write this, it doesn't feel like a new year. We drove home from my parents' house today and it was a horrendous trip. I was in the mini van with the two toddlers and the dog. My husband drove the Jeep with our preschooler and our Christmas hoard (my parents spoiled us this year). I'm not sure how things went in the Jeep; my husband said D asked him every five minutes "What time are we going to get home?" or "Has it stopped raining yet?" I can only imagine that that did get grating at some point. I listened to one or both toddlers cry for over three hours. To make it even worse, neither of them napped. I sang Paul McCartney's All the Best album at full volume for nearly an hour to keep the crying at Antsy Unhappiness instead of escalating to Angry Out of Controlness. Ten minutes away from home, the crying stopped-- no fussing or whining. I peered back to their Fisher Price mirrors to see both toddlers had fallen asleep at 1645, well past naptime. (Our original intention was to feed them and drive home during their naptime; their plan, apparently, was to let it be known the entire trip they do not like being strapped in.)
The first hour of the trip was almost peaceful. I thought a lot about this past year and the year to come. Much will change over the next year. We would love to have another baby, if all goes to plan. Hubby is going to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering and has the wonderful opportunity to study abroad. We will most likely be moving at the end of this year to South Carolina. Our toddlers will turn two in the spring. Our oldest will turn five in the summer. He could start kindergarten in the fall, but we are probably going to do kindergarten prep and get our feet wet homeschooling; we think another year will be a good move socially for D. So many decisions. So many things to think about, prepare for. So many things to pray about.
This past year feels like a blur. I was looking at my old blog posts and I remember those times... I just needed to be reminded. It was a huge adjustment dealing with twin toddlers. Sometimes it is outright silly the things we deal with. Sometimes I feel like I am not listened to at all. For instance, one of the toddlers climbed on the couch. I told him to sit. He stood and ran down the couch, laughing. I counted, "1, 2.... 3." I walked over and sat him down. He stood right back up. I said, "Okay, time out." While I walked him to time out, the other toddler picked up a truck and threw it in D's face as he watched Super Hero Squad. Now what? Do you cut short the first toddler's time out process (I had just set him down and he was screaming) or do you let the second toddler get away with throwing something in his older brother's face? I did a combination of the two. I picked up the first toddler, carried him over as I told the second toddler "we don't throw" and put him in time out. When I compare the discipline process between the two toddlers and my oldest as a toddler, I feel like I am letting so many things slide that are going to be problems to deal with later. Ugh. I don't want to deal with it all later. I would really like to deal with it now (do I really?).
Obviously Mommy Guilt has been a big thing with me this year ("Mommy Guilt" and "Mommy Guilt Part II"). Every once in awhile I find myself looking around thinking, "Am I just doing something wrong? Why aren't they listening? Why is he crying? Why do I wish I was at Starbucks with a book instead of struggling to cook dinner with a child screaming on my leg? Do we really want another baby?" But then one of the boys runs up to me with his arms spread wide, huge smile across his face, and I bend in for a wet kiss. I love my boys. I love seeing their faces light up when I walk in the room. I love comforting them by holding their hands. I love blogging about them after a fitful bedtime and an exhausting evening. I could talk about my children all day and I wouldn't have said everything I wanted to. Their personalities delight me. Their expressions crack me up. I look forward to Fridays when my preschooler brings home all his penmanship; I am so proud of him.
Finally, my husband. We've had good times and rough times. Finances, toddlers, senior year of mechanical engineering, baby planning, travelling, moving... The thing I love most about my husband is that he never gives up. When we go through these rough patches, we always come out on the other side closer and better than before. I'm blessed to have such a wonderful husband and best friend.
And so we face another year together. Where will be this time next year? We could be living in South Carolina with Baby #4, homeschooling. We could be getting ready for our pack out. The schools could still be backed up and we are waiting here in North Carolina for orders. Ah, the Navy. We don't know. But I'm glad I'm travelling this road with my favorite people.
Happy New Year!