feeling the love

It’s been a long time since I last joined Kate says stuff for “Thankful Thursday”. Obviously its not due to a lack of things to be thankful for. I’ve just been caught up in the whirlwind that is life with my two babies. (It’s not often I refer to Alexis, my darling 20 month old daughter as a baby but she really is still a baby in so many ways.) I’ve been thankful in my own heart (most of the time) but I’ve had very limited blogging time. 

This week I absolutely must join in though because I had such a lovely  weekend and I absolutely must say thank you. I am thankful for a relaxing weekend full of love and support just at the right time.
Life with two kids under two years old is intense. There is never a dull moment. It is incredibly fun at times but there are also times that put me to the test. I am the sort of person who likes personal space and to spend time sitting quietly gathering my thoughts. With a breastfeeding infant and a toddler who is planting herself firmly in the “terrible twos” I have been pushed to my limits and stretched to near breaking point.

I can say this because I’m not ashamed. It’s no surprise really. I’m not great with change but I’ve had a huge change. I’m not good under pressure but I’ve been on demand almost constantly. I am not great at making decisions but I have often had two babies crying for me at the same time yet only one pair of legs, one pair of arms and one lap. I’m also not the best at accepting help but sometimes I have to.   

On Friday morning I had well and truly had enough. Alexis and William had taken it in turns being awake and grizzly all night for most of the week. Alexis was sick and William was feeding almost continually as his body tried to avoid coming down with it too.

For days I had struggled to wipe Alexis’ nose and change her nappy because although she was sick she was feisty and almost impossible to catch. She had a rash on her face from snot and drool and a rash on her bottom from acidic wees and poos characteristic of a sick child who refuses to eat anything other than pasta, cheese, tomatoes and orange juice.

It was getting me down. I couldn’t be everywhere at once. I couldn’t feed continually without making time to eat and drink. I couldn’t cope with the physical demands on my body, especially with very little sleep.  I was coming down with whatever Alexis was sick with. I could not stand hearing Alexis whinge and whine and scream but I couldn’t fix it.

I am so thankful that Corey was able to stay home that day. I felt terrible asking him to. I know he would have rathered be at work. I know he would have been hesitant to ask to work from home when he’d just had two weeks off but I needed him, I really did. I’m so thankful he was able to recognise that and put his family first.  

I am very thankful that my parents picked Alexis up on Saturday afternoon and kept her until Sunday evening. As much as I adore Alexis, I really needed a break. As much as she loves me, I think the feeling was mutual.

I am so blessed to have parents who love my kids as much as I do and drop everything to spend time with them. Alexis absolutely loves going to nanna and grandads. She had so much fun. She really benefited from the undivided attention, change of scenery and fresh air. She was so much healthier and happier when they brought her home, although she was very tired.  

Corey and I really benefited from the chance to slow down while Alexis was away. We were able to spend quality moments with William and while he was sleeping our time was ours to do what we wanted with. We had a chance to debrief the full on month we had and come up with a game plan for surviving the next few weeks. This was very important.

On Saturday night we ordered  takeaway and watched a DVD like normal couples do. Gee it was nice to relax. Unfortunately William wouldn’t settle properly off to a nice deep sleep until about 11pm but it wasn’t a disaster because we were allowed a lazy Sunday morning. Corey had special 1 on 1 time with William while I went back to bed… til 9am!!!

Then on Sunday mid morning I went to church with William. We already knew they were planning a small “baby shower” for me. They had attempted to have a surprise one awhile ago but I never made it because William was born early. Corey chose to stay home because he did not want to pass up the opportunity to clean up without Alexis under his feet.

It was nice to worship in peace without Alexis dragging me to the kids table to colour etc. I missed the sermon feeding William (chose a lounge chair in back room option) but I could hear the bits when the pastor got really excited.

I knew they had been planning a baby shower for me but I was blown away by how beautiful it was. As we ate scones, fruit (mangos!) and chocolate cheesecake they took turns giving me advice on becoming a mother of two. It was fun but very helpful.

Then it was present time. They had each contributed a gift and someone had packed them neatly into a box. It was fun pulling things out one by one and thanking everyone. They had all put a lot of effort in. Then they prayed for me – for peace, for strength, for wisdom, for everything I need to thrive in this new role.

It was such a lovely party. It was brilliant timing. I felt so refreshed.  God is good, and when you experience “church” done properly it is incredible. I was amazed at their generosity because I had only been going to the church for a little while (I already had a baby bump) and we didn’t go that often. Most of those women hadn’t met me before, but they were excited for me as a member of their church family. I was really feeling the love.

When I came home to a clean house I was so happy there were almost tears. Corey had been very very busy. He had picked up everything off the floors, vacuumed, mopped, cleaned both showers, cleaned both toilets, cleaned the mirrors, done the dishes, cleared and wiped the kitchen bench, done a load of washing and started sorted laundry mountain. 
I am so thankful that I married a kind, compassionate man who knows how to show me he loves me in tangible ways. I’m glad he’s confident enough with his masculinity to spend a morning doing housework. I’m thankful (and slightly jealous) that he is competent enough to achieve so much in so little time. I’m thankful he did all this with no expectation of being rewarded.

I’m thankful for the whole weekend and its timing. I started Monday morning refreshed and ready to tackle any challenges that lay ahead. Alexis has been determined to push my buttons this week but I haven’t lost my cool, and I am so thankful for that.