Ugh, that whiny Manifesto of Crabbiness I posted last night is exactly why I haven't been posting much lately. No one needs to read a list of complaints, most of which are distinctly First World Problem in nature.
However, who doesn't want to read a list of awesome things? I'm making a point of sitting down this morning before the day has beaten me down, to record some of the great things happening lately.
Help is on the way. One of my greatest personal challenges in life is to learn how to accept offers of help graciously and gratefully. It's sort of ironic that this is so hard for me, given that the single most fulfilling act I can commit is to provide help to someone else. Accepting that I NEED the help has been the first step, and one that I've had to confront time and time again in raising small children without a family support network readily available. I've made such great friends though, and I am learning that help is available and that it makes other people happy to help too. Lately, I've had one friend give me virtually all the baby gear one could possibly need, another friend who I met through the awesomeness of blogging come over with her kids and entertain my kids while I spent some time going through all the various baby gear and organizing the nursery, and one more friend bring food for my husband and I, just because. We have received countless other offers of help and support while we get adjusted to life as a family of five and I am planning to accept many of these offers, with grace and appreciation.
Sugarfina. The candy blogger I read linked to this site and reviewed some of the candies available and I am intrigued. We are officially going on a Spending Moratorium in August to recover from the insane costs of moving, so I plan to do a little shopping for post-partum treats while I can.
Daily Life Skills. The other morning as I groggily came to, I heard Pacey come in the room and Chris exclaim "oh, buddy, look at you. Let's get you cleaned up before mama sees you." I couldn't bring myself to look and see what exactly needed cleaning up (although it's been years since I faced a morning Poopocalypse the residual trauma runs deep) and I gratefully fell back to sleep while Chris dealt with whatever it was. Turns out he had just woken up early and hungry and helped himself to the remainder of a batch of muffins I'd made the previous day. He delighted in sharing that he'd eaten them ALL UP, and I suspect that at least part of the delight was in that he'd gotten up early enough and eaten them fast enough that he hadn't had to share (firstborn, anyone??) It's a small thing, but I love to see him embracing his independence in this way.
Brighton, for her part, appeared yesterday morning at my bedside and whispered that she needed help snapping her shirt in the back. She'd selected a very *four* outfit including a tutu and gotten herself dressed (getting dressed is often a fight in our house). I complimented her on her efforts and she told me that she'd been awake for awhile and wanted to do something to help me. She's perfectly capable of getting herself dressed every day, but for her I was just really proud to see her developing awareness of others and wanting to help out. Kids - by design - are so darn self-absorbed for the first few years and it's always nice to see that they probably aren't going to be psychopaths.
Free Entertainment. I mentioned the parks and rec playground program earlier in the summer, and I continue to be pretty amazed by it. Twice a week I have the option of bringing the kids to a playground where there is a team of teenagers ready to run the kids around, play games and do some crafts with them for an hour and fifteen minutes. It's not really enough time to do anything and I prefer to stay anyway, just as an extra set of eyes on Pacey, but I can sit and chat with my friends who have also signed their kids up while someone ELSE is responsible for entertaining my kids. Score! I also learned recently that the city will provide a one-on-one aide for a child with special needs in order to facilitate participation in any of the parks and rec programs. Not a bad deal there.
Tiny baby laundry. There are piles of it in my living room, freshly washed and folded and awaiting wrinkly little newborn limbs.
Reinforcements on the way. Less than a week until my mom gets here! (and my dad a few days later). Then - and only then - I will be truly ready to have this baby. It's been almost a year since my parents' last visit and I'm so excited for them to get reacquainted with the kids and see our new place. And my mom is really awesome about doing laundry ;)
Babysitters. The other evening I had two of the most adorable thirteen-year-old girls from the neighborhood stop by to give me their resumes/business cards for babysitting. Although I love the additional reassurance that comes from hiring twenty-somethings, there is a real appeal to these girls who are clearly actually excited about hanging out with little kids and earning some money while they do it. These two were so earnest and had clearly prepared what they wanted to say, it just really touched me. Plus, I'm betting they are a much better deal than the college students we've been hiring!
Wine. A given, sure. But I'd forgotten that traditionally many people bring booze to a housewarming party!! We are now very well-stocked in the wine department and I am planning to take the opportunity while my husband is out of town to go through a hide a few select bottles til a few weeks from now.