Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Me, Five Years Ago

Yesterday I went to a fellow mom of multiples house for a play date. There were six sets of twins there who were all nine months and younger. This is the fourth time I have gotten together with my moms of multiples group and each time a couple new faces show up. I love this group because we all have the joy and challenges of having multiples. It is fun to compare stories and receive information from others all the while having the bond of multiples.

But I also felt a bit disconnected.

On the 45 minute ride home the Little Monkeys fell asleep in the car and I had time to think. At the play date a couple of the moms were talking about how hard it is to have two babies. They are first time moms and having two at once can be quite the challenge. They then asked me how I was doing with having two babies. I explained that everything was going really well and that having twins this time is easier for me than having a singleton the first time around. They all looked at me in shock. I went on to further explain that if I had twins the first time I know that I would have struggled a lot. I had a hard time adjusting to being a new mom when Logan was born, trying to find my new role in life while quitting my job and taking on a whole new definition for myself, my new family and a whole new world/life. I also explained that while most days go off without a hitch for us, we do have our challenging days on occasion. They all looked at me with relief.

As much as I love this group, it is also an adjustment for me. I have to go back and put myself in their shoes, exactly where I was five years ago when Logan was born. It seems so long ago that I was adjusting to my new role as a mom and I have come a long way in the last five years and have been through so much trying to have Caden and Colton that I don't feel overwhelmed like I did back then. I am much more relaxed, calm and confident as a mom this time around.

Yes, we have our daily routine and sometimes we fall off of the routine and our days end up a little...scary, I'll say, but then the end of the day comes and I look at my boys sleeping peacefully in their cribs and my big boy, Logan, sprawled across his bed and it is hard not to find the joy in a day that has been challenging or difficult or trying. Those are the times that I tear up and know just how thankful I am to have all of my boys. I know that a new day will come tomorrow and it is a fresh start. I am determined to make each day great and not take for granted or get caught up on or dwell on the craziness of the day before.

After all, having a challenging day with all of my boys is so much easier than having a challenging day of going through IF. I would rather have the challenge of having two babies crying about something (which rarely happens since usually if one is crying the other is laughing at him crying), having two babies to lug in and out of the grocery store or any other errands, having two babies screaming for their bottles at the same time, having two babies to carry up and down the stairs of our two-story house six times/day than to have the challenge of IF again.

Sad to say, when Logan was a baby, I didn't always take these things in stride so well. Most of the time I did, but there were times that I did feel overwhelmed and would need to get out when my DH came home from work. I felt exactly how my fellow moms of multiples felt, only five years ago. With the realization that I was them five years ago, I have found the connection with these women.

These women who I am able to see the new, fresh outlook of being a mom. Whom I am able to remember the joy of "firsts" with Logan and whom I can draw on for the freshness with being a mom to Caden and Colton. Even though I feel comfortable in my role as a mom, I love to view the world through others eyes. And through these women I am able to see the "firsts" of Caden and Colton like it is a new day, a new beginning of life and to celebrate Logan again and all of the "firsts" and joy he brings to my life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Routine of It All

Now that Logan is at school all day, every day (the only option in our school district) the babies and I are getting situated into our new routine. Each morning I bundle the Little Monkeys up and put them in their stroller so that we can walk Logan to his bus stop at the end of our driveway. His bus arrives at 8:22am and he doesn't get dropped off until 4:09pm. That is a long day for my kindergartner! He is loving school and looks forward to going each day. Every morning when he hops up in the bus he looks out the window at me and waves and I wave back and blow him kisses until I can't see his smiling little face anymore. Oh, the joys at that age make me smile. He has made a couple of friends so far and has someone that he sits by on the bus. My little boy is adjusting quite well to this big change.

After he gets on the bus the Little Monkeys and I go for walk. It is peaceful in the morning and a good way to start our day with some fresh air and to help this Momma lose that extra 10 pounds from my pregnancy. When we get home, the Little Monkeys head up to their cribs for their first nap from 8:45-10:15. Once they get up, they eat and we either head out on some errands or hang around the house and they help me get some chores done. OK, so they don't really help with the chores, but they are fun to talk to while I work and I take lots of breaks to play with them.

They eat lunch at 12:30 and then go down for their afternoon nap at 1:15-3:30. While they nap I work in my home office and get some misc things done around the house. After their nap they have a little bit of time to wake up, play and then I change their diapers and load them in the stroller or lay a blanket out in the front yard and place them on it so that we can greet Logan when he gets off of the bus. After Logan gets home, I feed the babies and then he gets to play with them while I prep dinner. DH is home at 5:00 and we eat dinner at 5:30. We start baths or showers (yes, all four of my boys shower. DH hops in the shower with two shower heads with Logan and I hand him one baby at a time to wash. Logan loves showering and playing in the water and Caden and Colton love trying to "catch" the water from the shower) at 6:30, feed the babies at 7:00 and then they go to bed. Logan gets some time with mom and dad before DH reads him some books at 8:00 and then he goes to bed.

Our days are pretty routine, and I like it that way. I like the predictability of the "schedule" our house runs on. But I also like to shake things up a bit too. Next week, Caden, Colton and I will be starting an early childhood class one day/week and I have play dates with my mom's of multiples groups and other friends who are home with their kids during the day as well. I also have a ton of work and some fun non-work projects to do this fall.

My biggest project, however, is to cherish each moment with the Little Monkeys and Logan. Before I know it, Caden and Colton will be hopping on that bus alongside their big brother and Logan will be wanting to spend more and more time with his friends. Where does time go?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten

For three years every time we drove past Logan's future elementary school we would tell him, "that is where you are going to kindergarten!". Over the years we have nicknamed it "Kindergarten School". In all of those times that we talked about him going to school there, I never imagined the day that he would actually go there. Sure, I knew it was coming one of these years. but how quickly those years have passed us by!

Last night before bed my DH and I were talking about how fast the past 5+ years have gone by and how we remember Logan when he was Caden and Colton's age. After a few minutes I began sobbing uncontrollably and worrying about my little boy hopping on the bus and going to school all day, every day (the only option my school district offers). Who would he sit by on the bus? How would he remember which classroom was his? Would he be nervous or scared? What if he didn't like it? etc.

And what about me (yes, I know it isn't about me, but....)? What would I do all day with him at school? Sure, I have Caden and Colton to keep me plenty busy, but they don't talk yet and the house is so quiet without Logan here. I have been mostly home with him for all of his life and now he is leaving me, how dare he! (OK, I am just being sarcastic here) And what about all of the things I want to do with him still, but I won't be able to because he will be at school. Really, by this point you would have thought that I was never going to see my beautiful little angel boy again. I was really working myself up.

Before I went to sleep last night I went into Logan's room, kissed him on his cheek as he lay sleeping peacefully, and then whispered in his ear, "I'm so excited for you and for the adventures that lie ahead for you."

Logan woke up this morning with a HUGE smile on his face excited to go to kindergarten. He got dressed in his outfit I put out for him last night and then came bounding down the stairs to his favorite breakfast of french toast and a berry smoothie. After breakfast DH and I took several pictures of him and then he tied his own shoes and then we loaded Caden and Colton into their stroller and headed out to the end of our driveway, where his bus stop is located (we live on a county road and our house is set a little bit off of the road so I will be walking him down to the end of the driveway every day).

As we waited for the bus to come I reminded him of all of things going on for the day: your lunch is in your back pack, if you forget the name of your bus, here is your bus card, your teachers name is (name), please give your teacher the forms in your backpack, etc. He looked at me and said, "I don't think I can remember all of this. Can you come with me today?". I reassured him that he would be fine and told him that the only things he really needed to remember are that his lunch was in his backpack (as opposed to eating "hot lunch") and the name of his school bus.

All of the sudden his bus was coming down the street....and then it passed right by our driveway! As the driver was passing by he looked and saw us standing there and stopped. He confirmed our address and asked where our son was supposed to be. We confirmed all of the information and that Logan should be on this bus (we changed his bus stop last week and apparently the bus driver was not informed). As we crossed in front of the bus Logan was running, he was so excited to ride the bus. I caught up with him just as he was running up the stairs and said, "wait! I need a picture!". He turned around with a HUGE grin on his face, let me take the picture and then found a seat.

After he got on the bus, DH and I loaded Caden and Colton into their car seats and we headed up to school to make sure that he made it safely and that he knew where to go once he got off of the bus. Yes, I officially stalked my child on his first day of kindergarten! Once his bus pulled up in front of school I got out of the car and followed him in to school and down to his classroom. I caught up with him as he was hanging up his back pack and his jacket on his coat rack. When I saw him I say, "Hey!" He looked at me, still smiling and said, "Mom! You came!" I explained that I wanted to make sure he made it to school safely. Then I asked him, "how was the bus ride?" He, still smiling, said, "Good! But we went a funny way to school" and started laughing. He thought it was funny that they drove all around picking up the other kids rather than driving straight to school. I gave him a kiss and his teacher asked him to find an open seat and I left....with my heart heavy and full.

My little boy knew exactly where to go and what to do, without me. How did time fly by so quickly?? And in two hours when he gets off of that bus I am going to give him the biggest kiss and hug and tell him how much I love him and missed him. As much as I miss him I am so excited for him and this new adventure ahead. And, in another short five years I will be doing the same with Caden and Colton. How quickly time flies!

Cheers to cherishing each moment!