this time of the year

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Today, we celebrated Christmas with my paternal extended family at my parents’ place. It is a yearly gathering, though the location varies. It’s also Ollie’s second Christmas, but he is more aware of what is going on this time. And I think he is getting the idea of what presents are all about. I reckon he got overwhelmed by the sheer amount of presents in front of him to the extent that he asked me for help with the ripping of wrapping paper.

Even I got overwhelmed when I got home. Overwhelmed at how I was going to manage/handle  toys with Ollie. Well, he is currently playing with his one train set, his Lettersaurus and a piggy bank. It isn’t a lot but I seriously don’t fancy the idea of picking up A LOT of toys at the end of the day. Which probably means I need to get drawers for his toys at some point in time. I am soooo dreading the day the Duplos get introduced.

I digress. This post isn’t about the amount of presents Ollie is receiving. It meant to be a post about reflecting. Donald correctly mentioned that Christmas was more of a time for us to reflect at how the year has been..only because it will be the new year in less than a week’s time. Just like that, another year would have gone by, and Ollie would be older by another year in less than a month. Just like that, Ollie has changed our lives so much.

This year, Donald and I discovered more about parenting. Boundaries for Oliver, communicating and trying to understand from a toddler’s perspective. And it wasn’t an easy ride. Donald and I differed over some parenting methods, although very minimal, and it definitely took us a while before we could come to a compromise. Sometimes it was me questioning Donald about the way he was handling Ollie because I spent so much time with him, yet I had to learn how to trust him that he knows what he is doing in his own way. The result was Ollie accepting that Daddy different from Mummy and the way I saw it, made the bond between the two of them even stronger and closer.

There is just something about watching my two boys bond. It is endearing and it makes me proud for some reason. It is watching Ollie understand that Daddy is there for him as much Mummy is. *beams*

This year, we are expecting #2, Quentin (pronounced Quen-ton rather than Quen-tin). Things were going kinda smoothly until the gynae said that I had a low lying placenta and I had to abstain from lifting heavy items weighing more than 10kg and take it a little easier. Easier said than done when I am a SAHM with a almost 2yo toddler who weighs almost 11kg.

“Mummy carry you Ollie” is the phrase I would frequently from Ollie who imitates the way we say certain phrases. On rare occasions I would tell him “for a while only” beforehand and lift him for a bit. Otherwise it is pretty much “Sorry, mummy can’t carry you. Mummy is <insert excuse>”. Last week, he woke up in a fright whilst we were at the River Safari and I had no choice but to lift him whilst Donald was taking a ride. I missed holding him against me and it was nice having him fall asleep against me although it was tough on the back. Gaah.

But yes, back to Quentin. Low lying placenta, potential C-section if it is still low lying,  trying to introduce Ollie to Quentin in a simple manner, discussing sleeping arrangements, more parenting, pre-nursery options..etc. Things seemed to get a little bit more complicated. But on the other hand, because of previous experience, it was a little easier for us too. It sure as hell is physically difficult for me as I deal with an active toddler. Had to cut down my outings to close to none because I am not able to run after him or handle him in my arms. *grumble* Still, have to say I am looking forward to meeting this little fella and watching the two brothers grow up together! Although I might take back what I have just said when the both of them are fighting and making a mess out of the house.

This year, I learnt to lower my expectations a lot more. Like A LOT lower. Ollie is busy crushing crackers on the sofa? Meh. Busy shaking his water bottle so there is water everywhere? Meh. Oh wait, he’s stepped on said droplets of water and is leaving footprints around? Meh. Sink piled up with dishes? Meh. Cooking rubbishy meals? Meh. At least it is edible. All these and a little more. Being pregnant makes it even harder for me to continue the things I want to do. I have certain expectations I have about maintaining the household, but I really needed to lower my expectations because it was unfair to impose them on Donald who is working during the day, playing with Ollie, putting Ollie to bed and then cleaning up the house a little after. I know I will probably pick up the pace again when Quentin is born. Good grief. Just because I feel the need to. The need to feel useful and be kept busy.

This year, Donald and I learnt more about each other as a couple and as parents. We have certain standards as parents, of how we wanted to raise Ollie. I am thankful of the support I get from some close friends who share similar values about raising our children, and through their experiences, I can try it out and tweak it so it works with Ollie and me. I am VERY thankful that I have the support of Donald in many ways. I wish I can support him in the ways he has to me, but well, we do have some very strong differing views on some matters and I find it hard to support that. Maybe I can cut him a weeeeee bit of slack eh? No need to be 2020 lah..take your time. Haha =P But we are fortunate to have family members who can take time to help babysit Ollie so we have some badly needed couple time to recharge. These couple dates allow us to catch up and focus on other things apart from Ollie, our goals, our family, our finances..etc. Watch a movie, have a quiet meal. Basically just to recharge. Probably won’t be happening for a while after Quentin arrives. We’d be in another world by then: mayhem.

It has been a good year for this SAHM. Not sure what Donald thinks tho, haha. The good definitely outweighs the bad. I learnt to be a wee bit out of my comfort zone yet still making sure Ollie is my priority (sorry Donald, you take a back seat now..=P). We have some boundaries for making our family work and yet still making sure that Ollie gets the best experience possible in his toddler way. Will 2014 be better? Hopefully!!

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