Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Year, you sure did sneak up on me

Hey, Happy New Year, right?!

I haven't written in a while and it's a fact that the longer you go without writing, the harder it is to start writing again. It gets too overwhelming, you know?

Where do you even start? 

We have finally settled into that happy and very boring stage of life, the stage after the last major transition and before the next...the next being the arrival of Baby Girl #2 in June, which we are ridiculously excited about.

Pregnancy #2 has thus far been characterized as "more" of everything. More excitement, more hormonal tears, more morning sickness (so much more), more whining (less wine-ing, which is just as disappointing as round 1), more aches and pains, more eager anticipation, more dreaming about what she'll be like and who she'll look like (Zach. Always Zach) and what life will be like when she arrives, and way, way more Chex mix. If you knew how many batches of Chex mix I've made since Christmas...you would be mortified. Or I would be mortified. Either way, I'm sure my sodium level is fine. And just think of all of those fortified vitamins and minerals courtesy of General Mills this little baby is getting.

Also, I drive a minivan now. I am equal parts embarrassed and thrilled about this recent life event; the transition to minivan mom. Embarrassed because oh my gosh, it's a minivan. There's just no getting around that. There is no cool factor, there is no denial. It screams "mom". I am one step away from bumper stickers and stick-family decals (but no, never. Never ever.) But thrilled because it is SO FUNCTIONAL. I no longer have to contort my body to get Zoe in and out of her car seat (or worry about hitting her/my head in the process. So many head injuries...). I no longer have to worry about space because we can cram so much in there that it's downright exhilarating. Do we need to bring Zoe's wagon for an overnight trip to Atlanta? No way. BUT IT FITS! Stick it in there. And maybe a few other things just because we can. Zach, go grab the rocking chair. It's just nice to have in case we decide we want to sit in a chair and rock. Also, the doors on the van. They are automatic. The trunk is automatic. I just push buttons and things happen. This is basically all I want out of life...to push a button and things will happen. This is everything.

But anyways, between the kids (whoa, plural) and our giant dog, the van just makes sense. I will drive it until I'm old and grey. So, for like, what? 5 years?

Wait, I just need to say one more thing about pregnancy #2. Everyone will tell you that your belly pops out sooner, that you grow faster, that you're obviously pregnant earlier with each subsequent pregnancy after the first. It's like your body goes "Oh yeah, I did this before. WATCH ME DO IT BETTER, FASTER, BIGGER THIS TIME." I heard all of this and acknowledged it as universal truth, but I did not fully grasp it until here I am at 19 weeks and I'm all "Ok, I'm maxed out, right? We are definitely reaching capacity here", whereas last time at 19 weeks I had people acting shocked when I told them that we were having a baby. Every time I'm at the gym (send me all the awards) or the grocery store I am secretly hoping no one decides to talk to me about how far along I am or when the baby is due because I cannot bear to see the look of shock in their eyes when I tell them that I'm not even halfway there. This is another reason why it's important to just never ask a pregnant-looking (and hopefully actually pregnant) woman how far along they are if they are not an actual personal friend, ok? Everyone will feel better if this question is avoided in casual interactions.

So anyways, there's the baby-expecting and van-driving thing.

And the new year. The new year with it's new goals and new challenges and new experiences. Zoe will turn two. A new baby will join the family. Z will finish his first year of grad school and begin his second. I will turn 30. All of these things are exciting to think about and look forward to, but I'm also actively working on continuing to be present in the here and now (she says as she ignores her child's cries for help to put the socks on that SHE JUST TOOK OFF. Obviously nailing it.) I want to look forward to the future while soaking in the present, because time really is moving too fast, even when the days seem impossibly long. Remind me I said this when I'm dealing with a toddler meltdown after a night of newborn screaming? Thanks. But this, I think, will be one of the biggest foreseeable challenges of this new year...embracing the moment, enjoying the moment, being in the moment, even when the moment is not pretty or happy or perfect or calm or what I would prefer it to be. Especially the moments I find myself wishing away...the pregnancy sickness and pains, the toddler meltdowns, the toys-falling-out-of-the-van-when-the-doors-open, the impending sleepless nights with a new baby, etc. etc. etc... But now, more than ever, I'm aware of how fast it all goes and how sudden it all feels when it's finally behind us. So that's the goal for this year. One of them at least.

I have other goals, but this one seems like a good one to focus on for now. One thing at a time. Otherwise I'll get overwhelmed and suddenly find myself elbow-deep in a box of Thin Mints watching Netflix at 1am (just kidding, that would be ridiculous. I never stay up past 9pm. The Thin Mints part is serious though.)
So we'll start here. Welcome, 2016.