It's been so long that I forgot my password. I started writing this a week ago and then got side tracked and logged out again. It's 90% freeform brain dump so there may be some inconsistencies, typos, and mild chaos. Let's go.
Winter break was adventurous. Daycare and school were closed so we had everyone home for a stretch of time. I thought it might be a good idea to take a trip using points for a couple of nights, just for a change of scenery. We were among those passengers affected by the Southwest fiasco when our flight was canceled and we were stuck out of town. Our "free" trip ended up costing a whole lot but I hope we'll get it back from Southwest. Luckily we were staying with family and weren't stranded but it was the four of us in one room and the unknown of when we're getting home was stressful. We also had some crazy weather that resulted in fallen branches, downed live wires, broken fence, and a power outage for several days. The only thing I tried to save was my very small stash of frozen milk at neighbors and the rest had to get tossed. Now to deal with the cleanup, insurance, and follow up. Adult things.
Even with the flight hiccups, I would still fly Southwest. It was our first trip ever traveling with kids and we learned a lot. Kids under two can technically ride for free as a lap child but there are so many barriers to that so it makes sense to pay for the seat if you can afford it. Flying over the holidays was mayhem. Flying after a storm was chaos because all the delayed flights were trying to also get out. Unless your lap kid is under a month old, it's hard to have them sitting and comfortable for the whole plane ride. They need a seat. A stroller in the airport is key. A double stroller in the airport is a nightmare. Travel light - buy whatever you can at your destination. If you're checking a suitcase, assume it won't arrive so you can plan accordingly, and then be pleasantly surprised if it does. Keep all the things you need for the kids in one bag, stored under the seat in front of you instead of overhead.
I'm trying to figure out how to plan a trip for passover or the summer or something. I completely understand the feeling of wanting to "get away" but I'm not looking to run away from my family - I'm trying to figure out the logistics of taking them with me, as hard as it is to travel with babies. I just need a change of scenery from the routine. I thrive on predictability and I'm pretty sure most people appreciate routine, but sometimes you just need to change it up a bit. Only a bit - too much and it's overwhelming and chaotic and I want to go home.
I tried to find a way to get more fitness in my day. I even rented a peloton to try it out. I used it once before we all got violently ill with a stomach virus which knocked me out for a week. Then it was winter break. Then it was other things. Long story short I've returned the bike. My comfort zone is walking outside, specifically with a stroller. During the height of the pandemic I set a goal to walk at least half an hour daily just to get outside and get some air. The weather is still too cold to do that and I don't want to wait until spring to start. But it's also not my main issue - it's exhaustion. I'm still in the stage where if it's quiet I just go to sleep. I don't have time for hobbies; I don't prioritize chores; I rarely socialize and when I do it's incredibly planned out. When it's quiet it's time to sleep. Even a short nap makes a difference. Some nights the kids are in bed by 7:30 and I'm asleep by 7:40. When they wake up at random intervals at night, obviously not overlapped because that would be too convenient, I take whatever sleep I can get whenever I can get it. Then coffee. Then pastries because who can think clearly to make good food choices when tired. Then exhaustion. Then repeat. So when I feel like when I can get at least six uninterrupted heavenly hours of sleep in a row, that's when I'll be able to schedule in workouts too. I'll even take four in a row.
Whenever I think of the exhaustion and this particular phase of life, I start thinking about a third and how that could ever fit in. I've never before been so conflicted about something as I am about this and as a decisive person that is an unsettling feeling. My age, my health, my sanity, my bank account are all factors. In my heart I know I'd love more but does that do justice to the ones I already have. Can I really take on more? If we have another embryo in the freezer, how can we not transfer it? Transferring doesn't equate baby so we need to be prepared for either outcome. We need to be prepared mentally, emotionally, financially, to expand the family again. If I could go back to my 2016 self and explain that it will be a rocky road along the way, but that I'll be contemplating this in 2023, I'm not sure I'd have believed it. I've gone up and down in my pros and cons about a third and every time I start spiraling down the what-if's I add more to that blog post and try to put it away. My baby is growing up so fast and I want to enjoy this time with him. There will be time to revisit this and decide somewhere down the line but in the meantime, I'll enjoy the kids as they are now and try to remember to take deep breaths every so often.
Parenting is an incredible joy and I feel so incredibly blessed. So so thankful that we're at this point. Even with the chaos of trying to keep up with the laundry and dishes and bags to pack and lunches and pumping and sweeping so much cheerios off the floor and and worrying and appointments and more cheerios on the floor and I'm so tired and wrangling a tiny octopus into a onsie that he absolutely abhors because who needs clothes even when it's freezing outside and endless buckling in and out of carseats and drop offs and pickups and so many bottles to wash and omg is the dishwasher broken again and please finish your food before you start negotiating for more screentime and why is there cheerios on the floor I just cleaned here and cute videos circulating to the family and they're sleeping and I miss them.
This is what I prayed for. As hard and draining as it is, it's a phase that I know I'll miss once they're grown up and don't need me as much. I'll have time for toes in the sand later. Right now I have to sweep some cheerios and enjoy some tiny toes that refuse to stay socked.