I hate that old default answer to "How have you been?" I agree with all the articles that you've probably read, or at the very least least skimmed the headlines of on social media. Busy is not the goal, I don't think busy does anyone any good, and I don't want that to be our family's way of life. I don't want to be constantly looking to what's next and getting through the days.
But man. That is what this December has been. It's been jam-packed with fun, no question, but I think in my current state all the fun has started to just feel like busy, and it's really wearing on me, physically and emotionally. I'm hoping things will slow down a little over the next week, as most of the Christmas season errands are relatively wrapped up, and I'm looking forward to just being with family. Opening those presents we've all been running all over the city to buy and staying up late to wrap, stuffing our faces with those cookies that I was up until 11:00 PM three nights last week baking, being home to revel in how pretty and calm those twinkly lights on the tree make our living room feel in the evenings. I want to enjoy the peace, rather than the hustle and bustle that is this season.
I think this tends to happen by about this time every year. I get tired of the anticipation and the raised expectations and just want to be. Maybe even sleep a little.
|Annual tree-lighting in our town|
|A fun night with Abby seeing the Lake Phalen lights in the park|
|Top: picnic dinner and Rudolph/Frosty viewing night, Bottom: Hardware store adventures, including the purchase of tacky holiday lawn decorations.|
It doesn't help that I am just so pregnant, and really starting to feel it. Lots of pain and pressure and broken sleep and I still have more than 9 weeks left. (I actually cried last night after being up every 45 minutes to pee all night long and enduring some kid antics that happened in the 4:00 hour that had me up until 5:00, when I finally crawled back in bed at what was essentially morning-time, I just broke down in sobs.) My body is clearly telling me to take it easier after a weekend full of malls and shopping and a lot of plans with friends and family. Such a good weekend, but by last night at 7:00 after the usual craziness of dinner and bedtime with two tired boys, my body was truly screaming at me to sit the eff down while I stubbornly crawled around the living room picking up toys and replacing ornaments that had fallen off the tree (we average about five a day), then putting away preschool art projects and sorting through bills on the dining room table.
|30 Weeks = HEAVY belly, it's getting really exhausting, lugging that thing around|
What a weekend we had. Friday was non-stop and such a fun trip of a day. Gus had preschool in the morning and Louie and I picked him up at 11:45 and headed straight out across town towards Woodbury for my nephew's school program. The boys and I stopped at Culvers for lunch and they were so funny and silly and truly great meal companions. It was perfect. We did, however, have to have a talk about how rude it is to point when the two of them went absolutely nuts over a guy with a white beard that surely was Santa eating just a few tables away from us.
Then we made the thirty minute trek east, stopping of course at a gas station to all pee and buy gum. The good thing about being pregnant while potty training your two-year old is that you don't really resent these random stops that come out of nowhere. I pretty much always have to go too. In fact, at 30 weeks pregnant I actually have a lot of things in common with my two year old, but we won't go into all that.
The play was sweet and funny and weird (hundreds of 3rd and 4th graders dressed as dogs... singing song after song about being dogs!) and then we went to John and Dannell's for a lovely night of kids rough housing in the basement and being so happy to be together and arguing over chairs at dinnertime. No nap for Louie which can be dicey, but it's something we're doing quite a bit lately because... BUSY!
But the best part? Lisa went into labor during all of this fun and was texting with me and giving me updates all the while I was texting with the rest of the girls, setting up a Plan B for the evening cookie exchange/baking party with my girlfriends, which was supposed to be at Kate's house but Kate was to be Lisa's labor and delivery nurse and this thing was, according to Kate, "seeming legit".
So very exciting to be a part of all of that.
Dan and I left around 6:30 or so, him headed home to get the beasts to bed and me heading to Mandy's for the cookie party. Lots of fun to be had there, and the evening ended shortly after the excitement of Lisa's baby news came, a little after 10:00. (It's a boy! A sweet baby boy, born fast and furious, just an hour after his parents arrived at the hospital!)
Then there was a 45 minute drive home, followed by lots of excited texting into the night about brand new babies and hot dates and proper gingerbread cookie storage, and talking my husband's ear off for a good 30 minutes. I finally went to sleep after midnight and... that is just the kind of day I've been having EVERY DAY for the last many many many days. There haven't been babies born every day, but you get the idea.
Saturday I got to meet that perfect baby and revel over his gorgeousness and the excitement of his birth with his high-on-life parents, and then that evening my parents took the kids to see the Holiday Train in Buffalo (epic muddy mess traffic jam of a fail!) while Dan and I went to his work party at Gasthofs. The spouse's holiday party! My favorite event of the year! And no booze even! (Or... errr...)
Sunday we dropped the boys right away in the morning with Dan's parents and shopped all day long, and it was nice to spend time together and we were incredibly productive and it was all so much easier to accomplish with no kids. But then upon pickup it was meltdown city by two tired boys (another no-nap day for Louie, 3rd in a row!) and then the pain started to set in. My legs and well... everything... screaming at me to sit down and stop. So after the kids' bedtime I did sit down, for four hours, and wrapped a billion presents, and OMG just so tired and so sore...
Then yesterday during preschool Louie and I officially finished off the last on our Christmas shopping list, hitting up the toy store and ANOTHER mall, and we actually had such a lovely little morning together. Louie by himself is a sweet little shopping partner, especially when given a big pretzel and a lemonade. Things only got dicey when we were on our way out and had a Santa sighting, and Louie chose THAT time to finally decide that he DID want to see Santa (after saying "no" for the last few weeks) and he needed to see Santa NOW and he didn't care that we were going to be late to pick up his brother.
Still, I wasn't detoured, high on life we picked up Gus and as previously promised, I then brought them to the Plymouth Fieldhouse preschool open play, something that Gus has been begging to do for many many weeks that Louie got to do at daycare last week with all their friends while Gus was at school. Poor guy totally got the shaft and he's been emotional about it for the last week, so I said depending on how the morning went we would go there for an hour after school.
It was a blast, totally dead, and the boys ran and jumped and played their little hearts out for an hour and a half, taking a break only to quick eat a sandwich I had picked up at the mall. They made friends with a couple other little guys and I sat in the middle of the dome where I could see them and just played with my phone and vowed to not care if the few other moms there were judging me as part of some "hands-free" parenting movement. #overit
On the way out, after both behaving PERFECTLY the entire time we were there, they started talking about Santa. They wanted to go see him at the mall, they were insistent on it, insistent that they would talk to him and tell him what they wanted for Christmas (a transformer and animals, of course) and it being the first time they had both had interest in doing the Santa thing all season, combined with their earnestness and the just general loveliness of the day, I gave in. We drove back to the mall. At 2:00. Naptime. After being out all morning.
What is wrong with me? I do this stuff to myself.
Santa was kind of a fail, no picture, Gus lost his nerve and would only wave at him from behind a little post and Louie sat on my lap next to him, avoiding eye contact and muttering answers to the big man's questions under his breath for a whole 23 seconds. But whatever. Not the kind of thing I'm going to get worked up over.
All of this to say, it was another epic day of running around and my poor pregnant body just really was starting to shut down by early evening, and I'm paying for it today. Today has just been... uncomfortable. I could barely get out of bed at 6:30 and managed to somehow get the kids to daycare, but I felt like I was going to fall asleep on the way into work. And then every time I got up from my desk all day I felt so much pressure, I could barely make it to the bathroom. Sitting at my desk feels terrible but walking is even worse.
I need to slow my roll. I know I do. So that is my goal for this week. The shopping is done. The baking is done. The wrapping is done. And now we just... be. The fun doesn't have to stop but there will have to be breaks, because this pace is going to set me over the edge. Half the battle is realizing it and admitting it to myself. Commence the lazy, relaxing week before Christmas. (Fingers crossed.)