Reflecting on 2020

Reflecting back on 2020, I have to say I’ve never had so much awareness and attention for the small things. I am so aware of how much my kids grew over the past year because we were home—all the time. Even though I have continued to work full time, being home and not having the hustle and bustle of going to the office and having social things on our calendar on nights and weekends has made things that were often flying below the radar more in my daily focus. You know how so many things usually just happen without you even realizing? I am grateful for the added awareness this year provided.

What is new and different compared to Jan 1, 2020?

  • I no longer have an infant. Esme was a little over 1 at the start of the year. Wobbling around on her legs, being broken from the bottle, and hardly verbal. She’s now big, fast, demanding, vocal and so interested in learning everything that Hugo and Cora are able to do.
  • Hugo is a giant. He basically skipped over size 5. In January he was a little over 4 1/2 and wearing size 4 clothes. I bought him some size 5 stuff in the spring and he has already out grown it all (pants wise). He’s impossible to pick up while sleeping. My toddler guy is gone, he’s a boy now.
  • Cora has found her voice. At the start of the year, she had a lot of speech with her tongue and teeth. They aren’t fully resolved, we had seen a speech therapist for a bit, but I think the issues were partially related to her being home with a quiet nanny all the time. She would express herself but didn’t have a large vocabulary and the words she would use were often intelligible. Going into quarantine and hanging out with her brother all the time, having a new nanny, and being around mom and dad more brought her to a new level and fast. She is now in school full time as of the fall and it is like night and day.
  • Me and my health. I eat salad. Every day. I eliminated dairy, and kind of do the trendy intermittent fasting each morning. (I say ‘kind of’ because I do have oat milk and a super food creamer in my coffee). I exercise almost daily. With these changes, I have lost 15 pounds this fall alone! Lots more to go, but still. Putting more time into what I eat and when because I work at home has been truly life changing for me, my habits and my body. I dread going back to the office and losing ground on this.
  • We fully moved into our house. I know we’ve lived here for a long time, but there were portions of this house (inside and out) that we were ‘waiting’ to get to. When I needed a place to work, and when home because the ONLY place we could go, we worked hard to make every square foot utilized. While we still want to do a million things to this house, we are happy to actually be moved in.
  • The kids (mostly referring to Hugo and Cora here) are turning into little independent humans, a shift from the needy highly dependent beings who were constantly tugging at our sleeves. They have their own interests, desires, opinions, and emotions. This is so different from prior phases where all of their basic needs all required a care giver. But they get themselves dressed, use the bathroom on their own, can open their own snacks, clean up messes and even like to help with things like the dishes or yard work. This is new. And I don’t think I would have been as aware of these subtle shifts in our role with them without having been home with them so much more.
  • We don’t need that anymore. And there is a lot of that. Starbucks? McDonalds? Bakery? Heck. No. We have been doing so much more of our own food prep. No more need for pre made stuff like salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, salsa, cakes or cookies. Without a social calendar on the weekend, we cook and we bake, and we use our espresso machine, BBQ and air fryer to replicate what Starbucks and McD’s once provided. There is still plenty that we do buy, I’m not saying we’ve gone exclusively farm to table-we are far from it. For example, we get a Pizza Factory delivery one a week, almost without fail. And lets be honest, that started pre-COVID. But overall, we have started to cook and bake more things reducing the need for others.
  • We wash our hands as soon as we get home. We use sanitizer when we are out of the house. We are aware of what we touch and how close we are to others. These are new life skills that wont go away with the pandemic. We had far fewer colds this year than other years (knock on wood—the year isn’t over!).

Well that’s enough for now, although the list could likely go on and on. I keep reflecting and keep watching what is changing and am truly enjoying the show.

Well hello, 2017

Another year quickly passes by and from what I can tell, this will continue to happen faster and faster! As you might guess, 2016 was quite busy and full. Life as parents is still a role we feel new with. Having a second kid within such a small time from just starting has thrown us into full kid mode nearly 100% of the time. This is a challenge we are up for, and confidently move forward with little by little each day. It is the remembering we are also a couple that often takes a back seat and requires the most energy after the kids have been cared for. Again… Little by little.

We have enjoyed every moment of getting to know Cora. She is so refreshing and turns any tired I have into energy. Recently, her schedule changed so I don’t see her in the mornings and I am feeling the decrease in my own energy when I have to go to work without having seen her. I have to say, it is an adjustment. I miss her terribly. She is such a happy baby. She smiles every time I go to get her out of her bed, even if I wake her! So I eagerly look forward to her smile (along with her brother’s) when I get home each afternoon. Here are a few recent pictures. img_3831 img_3872

The holiday season was great. We had a nice Christmas. Of course we bounce from one house the next which is so much more exhausting tugging these kids and all their creature comforts along, but it was all worth it. Sharing these holiday memories with family is absolutely priceless. Of course, this is about how we feel while wrangling the kids every which way!

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But our holiday photo in pajamas turned out just fine in the end after a little bit of settling down.

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Hugo of course has become fun to shop for as his interests grow by the minute. He loves anything with a lid, and likes to put things inside bags. Currently, his favorite mischievous activity is sneaking into the drawer with the foil and ziplock bags and pulling out a gallon size freezer bag and putting as many of his little objects inside of it as he can. His mouth is filling with teeth, his mobility on his feet is ever more sturdy, and he is getting closer and closer to talking each day. His clever and exploratory mind is usually pushing him to constantly be moving and touching everything, but every so often, his sweet sensitive side comes out where he is sharing with his sister, cuddling with his mom, or giving his handsome dad a big hug. It is an incredible thing watching him grow.

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And so we forage into another year, looking for more time in the week and hours in the day. But my goal this year is to try to focus on the time that I do have with these little kiddies instead of complaining about never having enough time for anything. I am lucky to be a mom, and lucky to share such an experience with a wonderful husband and friend. Yes we are ambitious and always trying to fix the house, buy the next helpful thing, and do what we want for the kids, but if we always focus on what we haven’t done, we will forget about what is happening now. So, reprioritizing and feeling more gratitude are my goals for the year.