Reflections on the Past 3.5 Months

Tyson comes home TONIGHT.  We are literally counting down the HOURS now and are waiting to welcome him with open arms (figurative open arms, that is, since he'll get back late and we'll all be (hopefully) asleep).  He's been gone since August 30th (excluding some weekends, Thanksgiving week, and a few days when we moved).  Any word that I can think of to describe how I feel about him coming home (FOR GOOD) --  happy? thrilled?  peeing-my-pants (and not just because I'm pregnant) excited? -- don't quite come close to summing it up.  Wait: RELIEVED.  That might be the best way to describe it.

The remnants of my I'm-sorry-you're-sick-and-there's-nothing-I-can-do-to-help-but-here's-some-flowers flowers.

And yet, these past few months have shown me how much I can do.  Not to get all sappy, cliche-y pants on you, but I feel pretty strong, empowered even.  Taking care of two toddlers day in and day out on your own (WHILE PREGNANT, I might add) is no joke. Discipline and tantrums and just plain old figuring out to do with two little ones all day long, not to mention moving and adjusting to a new city and also taking care of a house all by myself have been A LOT.  And, as I've mentioned before, some things have fallen by the wayside ( don't want to know the last time I cleaned-like REALLY cleaned-their high chairs).  But we've SURVIVED.  Routines and order have been more or less established over the past few months and the kids still seem to like me.  More importantly, I even still seem to like them.

Sometimes it seemed as though this day would never come.  (Being woken up several consecutive days to an overenthusiastic toddler in my bed before 5:30 in the morning anyone?)  Sometimes the days actually went pretty fast.  (In that hindsight is 20-20, I can't even remember the pain of labor let's have another baby! sort of way.)  I've learned what I need to push through during the day -- a smooth start with at least some time to myself to get ready in the morning, a plan for our day that includes an outing and getting some things done around the house in the morning, lunch and at least 20 minutes of "me time" while they nap, not pushing myself to get too much crossed off my list in the afternoon, time to rest and recharge in the evening.  And how to cope when things don't quite go that way -- when I wake up with a toddler or two already in my bed, stubborn kids who don't even want to get dressed, nap and bedtime struggles, and too much TV to get us through the day. (The coping solution is coffee, btw.)  (If I wasn't pregnant, it would also include a cold beer.)

I am so excited for this weekend.  We have some festive things planned, and I can't wait for Tyson to be here to actually share in our new home with us.  We are so ready to be a family of four again to work, play, and do life together.

But mostly I'm excited to be the one who gets to sleep in tomorrow.  And then kick him and those two toddlers out of the house for awhile.

Let's call it a Christmas miracle.