After years of infertility and IVF, we've finally seen light from the other side. I knew it could happen, but certainly didn't think it would be us ... our new life with twins. Gulp.

Monday, April 30, 2007

What's Next?

When I opened the pages of this very fun catalog, I did a bit of a jump-back-jack. There in large letters, I see the words "IN VITRO."

That's as far as I got, as my mind wandered... what could this whimsical and kooky catalog possibly be selling? IVF comfort kits, complete with fuzzy pajamas, ice packs and designer alcohol wipes? IVF t-shirts, or perhaps beer coozies? Key chains?

Nope, it was this. Surprisingly, right in time for Mothers Day. Weird.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Well, I Never (said with a Southern drawl)

I never. Did you ever play that game, perhaps in college (or high school if you were one of those crazy girls)?

In turn, each person says something that they have never done (or perhaps something that a friend has knowingly and shamefully done, but wants to keep a secret), and everyone else in the circle has to drink if they have done that thing. The things would range from innocent to downright raunchy. It was always a good game to get to know your friends better and embarrass the hell out of them (as well as get a serious buzz on).

A year ago, there are a number of things I never thought I would do.
  • Put my hands out, as if second nature, to catch vomit and then exclaim with a smile, "Oh look, it's just the squash that never digested!"
  • Show up with my two fairly new twins at the neighborhood market for a cup of coffee and wonder why all the lights are off. Realize that a) It's 6:30 in the morning, and b) it's Sunday.
  • Stroll with the babies around the neighborhood, casually repeating "Meow....meow...meow" simply to get a reaction from my daughter whose new favorite noise, in response to the cat, is "Maaaooo, Mao, Mao." Yes, like the questionably-preserved Chinese leader.
  • Pray for nap time, and then find myself missing my babies.

There are so many more, both good and bad things, that define this new life we are living, and the two new lives that have changed it. I am in awe of the fact that one year ago today, right now, I was laying on my living room couch waiting for my sister in law to bring dinner over. I anticipated even more weeks on the couch, just waiting and waiting. Little did I know that at 7:45 p.m., I'd be jumping up off that couch and running to the bathroom, only to deliver my gorgeous twins nine hours later.

A year seems like a minute, and a year seems like an eternity. Happy birthday, sweethearts.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Making Good Choices

Why in the world does a tired, visibly exhausted baby refuse to lay down in his crib, instead choosing to stand up, hanging onto the bars of his crib, and scream at top of his lungs with his eyes closed and red from rubbing? Why not just give into the exhaustion and lay down like a good little boy and take a nap?

From an adult perspective (i.e. one who would simply die for a nap at 2:45 p.m.), it just seems like a very stupid choice to make. I'm just saying.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Music to My Ears

There is nothing more delightful ... a moment of relaxation in the kitchen after dinner, just me and my People magazine. (Come on, it's a D*sperate H*usewife with her new twins on the cover. I couldn't resist.)

My lovely little twins are running (well, crawling) free, burning off some energy before bedtime. And then the sounds ... the cackling laughter, the hiccup-y giggles ... back and forth ... him then her. They stare at each other, then burst into new peals of laughter, making some sort of joke that mom just can't possibly understand.

The put their faces right up against each other, forehead to forehead. Someone licks someone, someone puts his/her hand on the other. And they explode, yet again, into joyous laughter. Gorgeous sounds only babies can make.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Second Thoughts

My life is good. I am lucky to have a wonderful (for the most part!) husband, two beautiful children that I begged God for day in and day out, resources to live a comfortale life, health and happiness.

I think twice about my earlier bitchings now, especially when there are people out there, like Snickollet, who are not facing the loss of free time or independence, but of a spouse, a best friend, a father to her children. And she handles it with such grace.

This is Not Pleasantville

I'm so frustrated, and I am simply at the end of my rope. I don't know how to get him to hear me. He processes my words, and spews them back out in some form or fashion I don't recognize.

This is an age-old dilemma, and I know that my situation is not unique. While the dilemma is age-old, the times today are different, and expectations placed upon man and woman, husband and wife, mother and father, are different than they were years ago. And they continue to change. And we have the freedom to reshape and mold our lives as they suit us, less dependant upon convention, and more dependant upon what works for our particular situation.

Pre-children, I don't think that J and I ever argued much about housework, cooking, cleaning up. We both worked, had busy social lives (both together and apart), and simply pitched in to do what needed doing. I don't recognize us now, we're both such scorekeepers and tally makers, neither willing to give an inch. I know that we are both contributors to the place where we now find ourselves.

I want J to be present and participatory when he is at home. I am taking care of two energetic almost-toddlers all day, and when J is at home, I fully expect that load to go down to 50 percent. He wonders why I escape upstairs at 7:30, to jump in the tub or read a book. It's the first chance I've had to be alone and rest.

Instead, we have mornings like today. J didn't need to leave for work until 9:00. The babies woke up early, around 6:30, and he got their diapers changed and bottles warmed up. I met them in the kitchen around 6:45. He propped MyGirl up on a pillow, and gave her a bottle. I held MyBoy for his feeding, which is simply a nice, cozy way to wake up, I think.

At which point, he starts making himself breakfast, and as an afterthought, asks if I might like some too. Such a rarity is this situation, I practically faint in shock, and when recovered, reply in the affirmative. He sits down to read the paper and watch the news. Until 8:30, when he gets up to take a shower and get dressed.

During which time, I do the following: feed the two cats, play with the children, sing "Pat A Cake" and "The Wheels on the Bus" numerous times, put away everyone's breakfast dishes, steam apples for children's breakfast, feed children apples and cinnamon oatmeal, sweep under their chairs for stray cheerios and dried remnants of yesterday's lunch and dinner. Wipe snotty, oatmeally faces, pick up stray toys and books, take children upstairs to nursery and battle keeping them out of the attached bathroom while attempting to re-diaper and dress them, simultaneously putting away loads of children's laundry that husband so nicely left sitting on the machine for two weeks (I was waiting to see if he'd ever put them away. "But I did the laundry!" he protests. My ass.) Finally get them down for a nap and myself to my bedroom to consider brushing teeth and getting dressed.

While he sat on the couch and read the paper.

And then he has the gaul to hug me goodbye, and when I'm less than enthusiastic, ask me why I've been acting so distant and angry for the past few days. I attempted to explain that I had been doing an experiment, to see if he would pitch in and be my partner while at home. It escalated into a huge fight, in which punches are thrown, tears are shed, and scores tallied and re-tallied.

He asks, over and over, didn't I want, didn't I ask to stay home to raise the children? I reply that no, as parents we are both responsible for raising our children, but yes, I did want to stay home and take care of them during the day. But that when he is home, it shouldn't still be on my shoulders 100 percent. Our conversation goes in circles, over and over. What he does. What he doesn't do. What I don't do. And on and on.

I tell him to leave, to go to work, that I can't continue this ... it's pointless. I'm feeling like crap with a horrible cold/allergy that's kept me up half the nights and he's getting ready to leave tomorrow for a 4-day golf trip with the boys. I had hoped for a little bit of forethought, compassion, and assistance.

I know, woe is me, woe is me. I have a wonderful life and am lucky beyond many expectations. But I refuse to give in to the "You-Woman, Me-Man" caveman type attitude towards family and home. There is no reason that he cannot be fully present and participatory when is is home. Period.

Then I went and picked up his snotty-ass tissue that he left on the table. Sitting next to his empty coffee cup.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Evening Delights

It was a monumental mess. Beyond all messes we've encountered before. But worth it, because it was a success.

Inspired by Cecily's posting asking for new ideas for finger foods for the voracious under-1 set, I embarked upon a dinner of all new offerings. The twins food offerings have been somewhat limited, partially by my obsessive need to monitor and measure all food intake by sticking to jarred baby food, and also by my desire to keep mush out of my dining room carpet.

I've been trying to mix it up, mostly by steaming/microwaving a rotating variety of apples, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots. Can you tell I like orange, and the twins don't seem to favor all things green?

But tonight, out of my comfort zone (and onto the oriental rug. Well, just a little.) A delightful combo of cubed tofu covered with spaghetti sauce, grilled cheese on whole wheat, and a few beans fished out of my bean & bacon soup. It was a wild success, with minimal pieces thrown or discarded out of disgust. We'd tried tofu before and they hated it - red sauce must be the key.

It's also the key to the messiest dinner ever. Straight into the bathtub after dinner, which is out of routine for us. I've never wanted to get in the habit of bedtime bath, since we seem to have a family or sitters once or so a week. Before the morning nap has always been bath time. Oh well, changes happen.

The eating is cute to watch. MyBoy is all about quantity - stuff it in as quick as you can. Don't stop to breathe, don't stop to chatter, and certainly don't stop to swallow. Just fill 'er up until the point of disaster. We can usually intervene to encourage a little swallow before maximum overload. MyGirl is just the opposite. She daintily picks up each morsel, between thumb and forefinger and places it in her mouth. She will immediately light up with delight, of pronounce the morsel inedible, and squish around her tongue and lips until the offending piece is out. She will refuse an offering of more food until the first is completely processed. She's the same with the spoon, keeping her lips sealed until her mouth is empty.

Our dinner was slightly less exciting, but certainly colorful. Egg salad sandwiches are one of my favorites, especially with the residual blue tint from PAAS dye tablets. Mmm Mmm good.

Monday, April 02, 2007

I Got Me Some Work

Well, not the paid, going into an office kind of work, but the free, volunteer, out of the goodness of my heart kind. Thank goodness, because I was going crazy.

I'm sure I'm not the first to admit that, as a stay at home mom, the days can get monotonous. The children, while lovely little creatures, don't provide too much stimulating conversation.

MyBoy/Girl: "Maa, maa, grwaa, ya ya ya ya ya."
Me: "Really? You think I look super-skinny today? Thank you so much for noticing."
MyBoy/Girl: "Waaa yayayay, gunaaa!"
Me: "Why, yes. I did get my hair highlighted last week. Why don't you mention it to your father so he can say something nice about it too?"

I've gotten much better about making our own fun, being proactive, and trying to learn some new skills (ie: cooking! making baby food! learning new nursery rhymes!) But I still miss using my brain in interaction with adults other than my husband and mother.

Just as I was thinking that I needed to go seek out some opportunities (of the volunteer nature - I'm absolutly not wanting to go back to paid employement at the moment) with organizations I've been involved with in the past, voila! Two phone calls arrived within a week of each other.

One request was to head up the marketing for a large charitable event with a local institiution, and the other was to serve on a committee (gotta love those committees!) for an institutional self-study at my church. Of course, not expecting the second request, I said yes to the first, and then, surprised by the second request, said yes to that one too!

I'm thrilled to be genuinly busy (not doing annoying house cleaning, closet organizing, other at home stuff) during those much-anticipated naptimes; and am positivly psyched to have real, official meetings to fill in again on my calendar. It was starting to look a bit boring, what with playdates and occasional family visits penciled in weekly.

In addition, I took a trip to an industry event that I used to attend biannually. I was a bit of a spectator this time, as opposed to an active participant, but it felt good to be in the thick of things, coming up with ideas and analyzing what was out there.

I'm starting to feel like a contributing member of society again, in my small way. And yes, I know, and believe wholeheartedly, that raising children is contributing to society, but I mean outside of my little homebase.

* * * * * * * * *

I'm hoping to get back into working out in some form or fashion. I haven't given up on the tennis, just took a little hiatus when I went on vacation, and babysitting hasn't quite worked out since them. I took another exercise class this morning, and felt invigorated. And exhausted. But I'm gonna get back to it. As the instructer pointed out this morning, bathing suit season is coming up soon, ladies. Like I need any more reminders. Thanks.

* * * * * * * * *

And simply as a distraction, I found this very fun website this morning. Mommas do have cravings too, and I love their tagline: "The Pursuit of Maternal Mojo."