Well, we've been in Portugal for nearly a month. When did time start to go buy so quickly? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was playing on a snowy playground waiting for the bell to ring; thinking I might freeze to death before then. Back then, 15-minutes felt like an eternity. I'm certain that I waited forever for 16 to come so I could get my license. And the high school years were painfully slow...However, college slipped by quickly and after I turned 21, I can admit that I suddenly wanted time to move more slowly. But, never could I imagine that at the age of 30, I'd have two children who appear to be growing up overnight. Olivia's high school graduation is tomorrow, right?
I was such a great mom before I had kids. One who would never update her blog if her floor needed to swept and mopped and (gasp) dishes in the sink. If anything would take me away from household chores, it would only be because I was doing a project or reading to my perfectly behaved, sweet children.
In actual reality, most days, I question my ability as a mother. Olivia constantly runs around naked because I'm tired of arguing with her and struggling to put clothes on her a dozen times a day while she fights me. If I was a good mother, I would have never allowed her to start undressing in the first place. I would have nipped it in the bud with a few long time outs before it got to this point, right?
If I was a good parent, Olivia would go to bed without a tear every night, right? And, now that she's started hopping out of her crib, we have to get her a big-girl bed (something we've been meaning to do for a while - but, decided to hold off on because of the move). While Olivia will be happy to have her very own bed, I know she'll really be excited because she'll see it as an opportunity to get out and play with her dolls all night long.
I should know to shut and lock the doors that lead to our stairs so Olivia won't sneak upstairs while I'm changing Lila's diaper. How many times have I found Olivia upstairs in our bedroom rummaging through dressers or putting her dolls to bed in Lila's Pack and Play?
Surely, I should know to shut and lock the door to the bathroom in her playroom. How many times have I found her sitting naked in the bidet - the bidet filled with warm water and a towel as she explains to me that she's washing her butt?
Did anyone warn me that Lila could be as mobile as Olivia was at this age? Matt and I now have a stair climber. And, if Olivia has any say in the matter, she'll be walking in a couple weeks. Often Olivia says to Matt and I, "I want Lila to walk soon, alright?"
However, with all the challenges having two close together brings, I hear it does get a lot easier. Olivia is now fully toilet-trained (aside from the normal rare accident here and there) and by the time Lila is two, they'll probably be entertaining each other quite well. Maybe it'll be around that time that they'll play dolls together and leave me alone while I sweep and mop. Or, will I have two little girls fighting over the broom???
Despite the challenges of raising these two girls, it's the cute moments that save me from going crazy. Olivia's big smile as she runs over to me, arms outstretched saying, "I love you mommy! And Lila and Daddy too. Oh, and Denali."
And then the look on Matt's face when he comes home from work and Olivia is jumping up and down yelling, "Daddy's home, daddy's home! Yeah, daddy's home!"
Just the other day, as we pulled onto our street, Olivia exclaimed, "Yeah, we're home, we're home!"
It was that statement that helped me realize that despite the fact that I barely have enough utensils and pans to cook a decent meal, and we're doing without a TV and many other normal household items such as toys and communication tools (as in a phone to call the US), life is good and our kids are adjusting well. Olivia loves her new home, Lila is back to sleeping normally, we finally have a car, I'm learning a bit of the language and the food - from sardines to bread, to coffee and pastries to wine - it's all wonderfully good. To top it all off, the sun, palm trees, oceanfront and overall beauty - I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!