a quick hello

I had hoped to post a big photoblog full of wonderful pictures of my sweet boys opening their gifts on Christmas Eve (because that’s how we roll in Tennessee at Christmas time), but unfortunately there aren’t many photos to share.  I’m so sad about that.  My hands were full of babies from the time we got there Thursday afternoon until the time we left Monday afternoon.  I hate how hard it can be sometimes, staying somewhere away from home.  It hasn’t deterred us from going, going, going, and eventually I know it will get easier.  But for now, we are busy bees trying to keep the kids from destroying one thing or choking on another.  Now that Dexter’s so good at getting around, we have to keep an eagle eye on him! 

There are a handful of pictures that I will post when I get a chance. 

This coming weekend we are celebrating Christmas with R’s family and I’ll be sure to focus (unintended pun, ha!) on taking more pictures.  Just because they aren’t taken on Christmas, doesn’t mean they aren’t of Christmas, right?

Anyway, Theo picked up on what to do real quick and repeatedly asked “open presents? more present?” all weekend.  He got a little overwhelmed with all the new stuff and wasn’t quite sure what to play with.  We may have gotten him too many older kid toys because he seems to be most interested in everything we got Dexter.  So in real life, it’s like we bought Dexter nothing and Theo everything on Earth. 

I will at least post some pics of their favorite gifts (and maybe mine, too!). 

Did you have a favorite gift this year?

one down and one to go,

best gifts ever

When I was 12 or so, my dad surprised me with my own acoustic guitar.  I still have it, still don’t know how to play it.  Still love it.

I remember a few years in a row, getting whatever special limited edition stuffed animal it was that Target carried at Christmas time. They don’t do that anymore, do they?

Love, love, loved that Corn Silk Cabbage Patch Kid doll and pony that I got when I was about 6. My pony’s name was Elvira.  Man, I wish I could remember the doll’s name.

(borrowed from eBay)

My Hugga Bunch doll I got when I was 4 or 5.  Still have it.  Still love it.  Big, big hit.

Tweaker and her baby, Jitterbug
(borrowed from eBay)

Of course, there was the original Nintendo, when I was about 10.

Ryan surprised me with tiny diamond studs the same year we got engaged, 9 years ago.  Still wear them almost every day.

He surprised me again last year with my DSLR and an iPod Touch

I was madly in love with this Popple I got, but I don’t think I got it for Christmas.  I am almost positive it was a birthday gift the year I turned 7.

(borrowed from ioffer)

Gee.  Wonder where Theo gets his love of stuffed animals?  His current favorite?

(borrowed from fishpond)

Clearly – we’ve got to get him onto some cooler stuffed animals like the awesome ones above.  He wants the Cookie Monster real, real bad but we haven’t caved yet. 

Quick story from 11/18/11.  I posted this on Facebook, so if you aren’t my Facebook friend (first of all, what’s wrong with you?), this is for you. 

see Elmo’s socks?
This kid picked up a pair of Dexter’s socks off the couch where I had been sorting clean laundry and brought them to me.  He handed me Elmo and the socks and informed me “Elmo socks.  Feet cold.”  I’m amazed at the way he thinks sometimes!
Did you (do you still?) have a favorite childhood Christmas (or birthday) gift?  What about a favorite grown-up gift? 
be merry,

the question I get asked the most

So, what’s it like having such young kids so close in age?

Honestly, my instinctive, don’t-even-think-about-it answer is usually:  I don’t recommend it.

(With a laugh, of course.) 

I don’t know why I say that, but I hate that I do.  Nope, it’s not always easy.  But guess what?  I wouldn’t know the difference.  If I hadn’t gotten pregnant with Dexter and we still just had Theo, I bet I would say that having a toddler (and just one of them) is challenging, too.

Maybe, just maybe, subconsciously I want everyone to know that I’m workin’ my ass off here, just trying to keep it all together and be the best mom that I can be.  I’m not always proud of my words or actions when I get frustrated, but I doubt that it would be much different if I only had one kid.  Maybe, just maybe, I think if I make everyone realize how exhausting it is, they might not judge me for flipping my lid from time to time.  Or perhaps that makes me feel less guilty for said lid-flipping.


Our plan was to have our kids 2 years apart.  We are overachievers, I guess, because they’re only 14 months apart.  I got pregnant again when Theo was only 5 months old.  So 16 of his 21 months, I have been taking care of him and another baby, too.  I have been exhausted for two and a half years.  I could count the number of times that I have slept through the night on both hands since Theo was born.  Maybe just one hand, if I’m being truthful.  I have been nursing and/or pregnant since June of 2009.  That’s kind of like having a body, but not really having full control and ownership of it for two and a half solid years.    

I don’t recommend it.

Or do I?  Because really, it’s not that bad.  Like I said, it’s the only experience I’ve known as a parent.  There are bad moments, sure.  But doesn’t the job of raising 2 kids that are 2 or 3 years apart have it’s share of bad moments, too?  What about twins?  I’m sure that is just as (if not more) difficult.  I don’t think there’s a perfect solution because parenting is never going to be easy breezy.  If it is, you must not be doing it right. 

I already see the benefits of having babies so close together.  They are starting to play together.  I love the way Dexter’s face lights up when Theo is giving him attention.  Theo is so loving towards Dexter (most of the time) and has adapted just fine to not being the (only) baby.  I am already envisioning my boys playing sports, double dating, and sharing friends in school. 

Having them so close together seemed like a nightmare when I found out I was pregnant.  Now, I feel endlessly lucky.  Who knows what might happen a couple years down the road?  I have heard too many stories recently about young moms with ovarian cancer.  Emergency hysterectomies.  Having just one child was never my plan and I would have been heartbroken if the option of having more had been taken away from me.

We are in the thick of it right now and I am well aware that it might get worse before it gets better.  It’s getting more interesting as Dexter has recently become extremely mobile.  I wonder what Theo will be like a year from now, when Dexter is developmentally where he is now.  The story is always changing, evolving. 

I’m pretty sure this time in our lives is going to be one that we look back on and ask ourselves, “how did we survive?” with smiles on our faces.  Like being in grad school, working full-time at a brand new job career, and driving 700+ miles every other week or so to see my dying father.  It was chaotic and stressful, but so, so worth it and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.  There was no other alternative.  I did what I had to do and that’s what I’m doing now.  It may be a stretch to say I’m loving every second of it, but I bet when I look back, with a smile on my face, that’s how I will remember it.

So you know what?  I guess I do recommend it.  I’d be lying if I said I wish my life had turned out differently.

Hey, guys, I’m working my ass off here to keep it all together and be the best mom I can be. 

There, I said it.  Now you know it and I won’t have to act like I’m miserable, raising these babies who were born 14 months apart. 

not miserable,

P.S. This post was inspired by Krista at one of my favorite blogs, Not Mommy of the Year.  Read her post here.

P.P.S. I have had a handful of people tell me that they can’t or have had trouble commenting on my blog.  If you are one of those people or if you have ever had trouble commenting on my blog, please try the new format.  If you still have trouble, please email me and let me know.  I’d hate to think people aren’t commenting because they can’t!  Your comments truly make my day.