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Thursday, September 29, 2011

“Little, party of 4” or learn to live with what you’ve got…

So we are not having anymore children, and I’m very sad about that on some level. Zaiki are the first and the last. You know, there are people to whom everything is easy – they seem to breeze through life blissfully unaware of struggles, efforts or disappointments. And then there are the rest of us.

To me, nothing was ever easy. All I have now I had to fight and work hard for. Even with pregnancy fate/God/something didn’t give me a break – I had to fight to get pregnant and then to keep it - being on bedrest for 5 months was not fun. When the girls were born, I was hoping that at least they’ll be easy-going and mellow, because Kevin and I deserved a break. No such luck. The first few months were hell as we battled constant crying and my postpartum depression. The girls have what my pediatrician calls “high-need” temperament and I have a feeling we are in for an interesting ride once puberty hits.

As for other aspects of our life, for the past year our family had been in the middle of a very long and expensive renovation project. Since we live in NJ and are tied here for the next 10 years because of Kevin’s job, and the house market is insane for a middle-class family, we’ve lived in the same small-ish house for almost a decade.

When the girls were born, we tried to sell, and had an offer that fell through a month away from closing partially due to our realtor’s shenanigans (you know who you are, Millenium 21 Realty!). The house was bursting at the seams: us, my mom staying for 6 months, two babies, squirrels in the attic, a miniscule kitchen with no dishwasher – it was a Survivor Island.  

Then we decided to build an addition. Refinancing was its own special hell, as well as trying to find a reliable contractor. We finally did: John Scutti from Scutti Construction, my kudos and gratitude to you!

Due to budget constraints we opted to do some of the work ourselves (I say we but really mean Kevin, who is gifted and handy. There isn’t much on the home front he can’t fix or build). I excel in drinking wine, painting and running. I’m also a good baker (my cupcakes are LEGENDARY), but home improvement is not my forte. I don’t even know how to work a screwdriver…But I digress.

So, moving into a one-bedroom with two one-year olds, paying rent on top of mortgage, Kevin, who was working all hours to finish the house, never being around made 2011 winter a rather bleak time for me.

The day we moved back into the house both girls got stomach flu and threw up all over our couch and everything they had. The washing machine was not hooked up yet, so that was an interesting three days. Then the kitchen cabinets got delayed. For two months.  

Now we are almost done with some much needed and appreciated help from various friends – we have floors, walls, and heat. The kitchen (with a dishwasher) is in place, and our new leather couch has been delivered yesterday and got zaiki’s approval.

Two days ago we moved our big girls into a bigger room and transitioned them into big-girl beds. Sonya fell out of hers the first night. Last night thunder and lighting woke up Maya and she cried. They have been super excited and unmanageable, not going to sleep till 10:30, which in zaiki-time is like 2 in the morning. But I know that they’ll get used to their new room and get back on the sleeping schedule.  

We had very difficult and draining three years. We are getting back on track, things are getting easier (as much as they can ever get for us). We are settling down. So even though, when I watch my daughters grow up oh so quickly, it makes me want to add another little soul to our family, we are not going to do that.

I don’t want another upheaval, stress, sleepless nights and additional financial strain. I’m tired. I know Kevin is tired too. Our plate is full.

I wish it was easier, I wish I had a better job, more money, more family support and people who were involved in our lives, but it’s just not in the cards.

So our family is complete. But it’s not so bad – zaiki are endlessly entertaining, Kevin is handy and fun to hang with, and I bake. I try to think of what lies ahead: Halloweens, costumes, family trips, New Years, snows, summers, first loves and much more. I think I am content with what I was given in life as I try to make the best of it.J

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