Monday, May 15, 2006

Some post-mother's day thoughts...

As mother's day came and went I found myself thinking of my fortune. No, not my money (I tend to part with that quickly), but my personal fortune. I have said before that I have very little to complain about in my life and that I would not change anything about it. I really mean that. I have a great husband to works very hard for his family, loves his wife and children more than anything in the world (except for the new Playstation 3, but we accept that), and chooses to spend his free time close to home, with us.

My kids are amazing. They are funny, smart, witty, well behaved (mostly) and they are a light to all those who know them. Alyssa, wise beyond her six years, always makes me wonder how someone so young can be so insightful. She has deep thoughts, feelings and conversations. I have always chosen to drive with no radio or distractions so that we can talk or think or just enjoy the scenery. When she was a toddler, she would look out the window and think. You could tell it was something important. Sometimes she would share, or ask questions, but other times she would just sit silently. When she was 4 years old she lost two great-grandmas in one month she was thoughtful and concerned for her family. For months we watched both grow weak and tired of fighting and Alyssa's main concern was for their well being and the well being of her family. At both funerals she placed flowers inside the caskets to share with her "greats" and she blessed them both with her love. Her view of death is enlightening. She still talks about them, misses them and shares stories of them with Gwen, who was a baby when they passed. She is the best big sister, ever. She takes care of Gwen in all the ways that a big sister should and she enjoys her job as mentor. She takes her role very seriously, as she does many aspects of life. She is a strong, intelligent, wonderful human being and she makes her family proud every day. There are so many more stories that I could share about her, but I will finish with the story of her sister's birth. She was 4 at the time and was determined to be there when her sister was born. Well, that ended up being at 12:30am and all the hooplah kept her up until about 4am. She was patient waiting for her sister to arrive and would not sleep, just in case something happened. She stood at the nursery window jumping up and down, clapping, saying "that's my baby sister!" She was so proud and excited. She stayed at the hospital with us for the remaining 2 days and she grew even more excited. Once we got Gwen home, she wanted to hold her constantly (and she did) and she was the designated helper and she was fabulous at it. I believe there is no child more caring than Alyssa. She wanted to make sure that I was healthy and rested and that Gwen was getting what she needed. Here are a few other things about her: she LOVES to plan a party, she will forgo any toy to purchase something that she can cook with or fill with stuff, she will wear a dress on any day of the year, she will not attempt something that she does not feel she can do perfectly (we're working on that one!), she loves comic books and anything X-men related (thanks daddy!), she has only spent one night in her life without her dogbaby and that was one too many and she has an answer for everything and if you don't agree, then you MUST be convinced otherwise!

Gwen. Well, when we had Gwen we had no idea that two siblings could be so different. Brian and I were both only children and had no concept of siblinghood. Being an only has pros and cons and we wanted to provide our children with siblings, something we sometimes wish we had and are sometimes very happy we don't. When Gwen came along Alyssa was four and we were feeling very proud of ourselves in how well-behaved and mature she was. Little did we know, it sometimes has more to do with personality than parenting. Gwen was overall a good baby but you could tell that she was going to give us a run for our money...and boy has she! She is mischevious, strongwilled, hilarious and a risk taker. Gwen has been climbing on things since the moment she learned to lift her leg and once she was able to push something, she was making "stools" to get what she wanted. She wants to do everything by herself and god help anyone who tries to step in!! She loves to play outside and can have a blast playing alone. She doesn't need toys, she will find the nearest stick, rock or piece of trash and entertain herself. She loves barbies, polly pockets and little people, oh, and anything that belongs to Alyssa! She can go from a screaming fit to laughing in a matter of seconds and sometimes a drink of milk will stop a fit as fast as anything. Fits were something Brian and I had no clue about. Alyssa did not have fits...EVER. Gwen has already had enough fits for her and Alyssa combined and she is only two! Fits in public are extremely rare, she mostly saves them for home (knock on wood). She is easily distracted and most times, when sent to clean up, you can find her playing again. She loves to make people laugh and is a natural joker. While I was pregnant with Victor, she would tell him that people eat dog poop and bird poop. She thought this was hilarious and it has been made clear that she will undoubtedly trick him into doing many things as a toddler that she deems "hilarious." We are going to need eyes in the back of our heads! She loves a good laugh, especially if it's a laugh at your expense! Everything that was easy with Alyssa has been a challenge with Gwen. She will not be made to potty anywhere that doesn't suit her, currently, still in her diaper. She loves to try and push you. Just one more second of ignoring my mother's calls to come here, just one more touch of something my mother just told me not to touch, just one more step away when my mother is trying to keep me from running off. She has a sideways look that can make you laugh even when you want to lock her in a closet and she can smile at you at just the right moment, to keep you from slamming the door on said closet. She is truly a challenge, but I just can't think of her any other way. Here are a few other things about her: she sleeps with her head at the opposite end of the bed, she talks constantly, however, you can only catch a portion of what she says (how much depends on how often you are around her), she loves to give long, slobbery kisses, she loves scooby-doo and the gang, when she is mad she will yell at you and point her finger, she is a great big sister (minus the whole poop eating thing), she bounces when she runs, she loves to sing and she always says "three" when she means "two."

Victor...oh, how mama tried to save you from that name. But, your father and sisters had other ideas. My son. It's very weird to say. My. Son. All little people should have so much love showered upon them. Between parents, sisters, grandparents, aunts and friends there is no shortage of love for this boy. Possibly our last child, I am sad at the thought of him growing up. I have watched Alyssa grow so quickly and Gwen going from baby to toddler so quickly that this time I want it to go more slowly. But, he's already a month old and growing at an alarming rate (he's gained over 4 lbs since birth!) so I can tell that this child will be a "biggie" before we know it. I have refered to all my children as "biggie" as they have gotten more independent and less baby like, but it seems that my endearing term is getting used earlier and earlier. As I referred to Gwen as a "biggie" the other day, Alyssa said "Mom, I remember when you used to call me that." I thought to myself, Gwen probably won't remember me calling her a "biggie" because I will be referring to her brother as a "biggie" before we know it!! Victor is a calm baby that is very much like his older sister. He cries when he is hungry or uncomfortable for some reason, but never just to cry. He looks very much like Alyssa, but is looking more boyish as he grows. He is a grunter. And I don't mean just a little grunt here or there, I mean he will grunt for 15 minutes solid. It's mostly a bed time thing, and he will make lots of grunting noises when going to sleep or when he is about to wake up. However, when waking, he could start his grunting an hour before he actually wakes up and wants to eat. I have had to condition myself not to go and pick him up until he is actully crying because if I go to get him when he starts his grunting, I could be missing an hours worth of sleep!! Speaking of sleeping, he is a great sleeper!! He sleeps 4-5 hours at a time and has been waking only once to nurse at night!! Both girls woke every 1-2 hours to nurse and didn't sleep through the night for YEARS, and Gwen still wakes more often than I would like! Victor is the love of his sisters' lives and is constantly harrassed by them and their kissing and hugging. No wonder he is very snuggly. He is definately a "mama's boy" already and I am OK with that. His room is not finished being decorated, and he doesn't seem to care, and he wears mostly consignment clothing, again, he doesn't seem to care. I have learned many things in my 6+ years of mothering and he will benefit from those lessons and maybe suffer a bit from them as well. I am definatly more laid back, more tired, less worried and know to devote more time enjoying his babyhood. I am looking forward to the experiences of raising a boy and can't wait to see my family grow and change. On this mother's day I am happier than I have ever been and can't wait to see how happy I will be next mother's day, with my growing family.