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.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bath Toys

The best toys for children in the tub, recommended (I think) by Emmie. Guarantees many consecutive minutes of concentrated play, pouring water on ones own head and on ones brother's or sister's head.

Originally intended to direct soup into a jar or leftovers into a Tupperware, they also encourage children to try and "catch" the water. Allows mommy to catch a few minutes to peruse a favorite magazine:

The best
toy for mommy, sitting next to the tub, trying to simultaneously supervise bath time, encourage hair washing, discourage beating brother/sister over the head with above referenced toy.

Originally intended to support child's neck while sleeping in the car, this wonderful toy also supports Mommy's very important orange juice glass full of wine, keeping it from toppling over into the nearby tub:

Friday, October 26, 2007

An Early Thanksgiving

I belong to a small group at my church, which I've spoken about here in the past. It's a group of women, all under the age of 40. While it is technically a Bible study group, we do some of that, but also read spiritually-focused literature (some fiction, some non-fiction) and have a wonderful tradition of praying for each other's needs, hard times, and thanksgivings.

I am certain that this group, and the prayers and support from each individual woman, played a significant part in the happy fact that I now have two wonderful children. They provided a safe place for me to speak my frustrations at the inability to get pregnant, meet women who'd had similar issues, and support me through my pregnancy and the difficult early months of the twins lives. It's rather amazing, to me, to be on the 'other side' of the infertility issue (certainly not over it), and to be able to provide some support to women who are in the same spot I was just a few years ago.

It was in this group a few weeks ago that we talked about prayer, and specifically, how we pray as individuals. A number of women said that they always pray the Lord's Prayer. Some reverted back to childhood prayers as they lay in bed. And a few of us said that we always start our prayers with our thanksgivings.

In thinking about how I pray, which I must admit is a subject I never gave much thought to, I realized that I also give thanks before I ask for anything, for myself or for others. I suppose it's because I have so much to be thankful for.

In my pre-baby days, I always thanked God for giving me such a wonderful husband and a supportive family, but immediately followed up with a gratuitous and pleading request for children, somehow, somewhere. As time passed, I asked for patience and faith in God, that he knew what was best for our family. Near the end of that particular journey, I desperately pleaded to just make it work, make it work. And if it didn't, to please find me the magic cure to coping with more disappointment.

I find myself overflowing with thanksgivings in my prayers these days. Sure, I still ask for patience (of a different sort) and wisdom to do the best job I possibly can. But more and more, I list all of the wonderful people, situations, and circumstances in my life, and say thank you for showing me what a lucky woman I am.

J was in a serious biking accident a few weeks ago and sustained some really dire injuries. He is on the mend now and should recover okay, but during those early hours after it happened, I thought quite seriously about what my life would be like as a single mother to two young children. Or as a wife to a permanently disabled husband, trying to juggle care for all three. I know there are women out there who never imagined themselves in that situation, but now they are.

Those emotional and practical thoughts that occupied my mind in the wee hours of the morning have now renewed my gratitude. We all have tough times, we all bitch and moan about the things that go wrong, and I do it as much as anyone else.

But I know now, for certain, how very lucky and blessed I am. I hope I will never forget.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Where I Get The Goods

When faced with a new and unfamiliar situation, I turn to research, both qualified and legitimate as well as anecdotal. My experiences with infertility, the exciting (terrifying) news about twins, and then prematurity and all it’s delights led me to books and manuals galore, as well as chick lit type novels for ‘research’ and distraction. And don't forget the fabulous world of Dr. Google, blogs, and every pregnancy/parenting site in existence.

Most recently, the challenges have been toddler-related. Woof … this stuff is tough (of course, when compared to the above challenges, this is a piece of cake, it just draws on reserves I didn’t know I had. And frustrates to no end. But hell, it’s not the threat of perpetual barrenness or the insecurity of leaving your babies in the NICU each night.)

Toddlers times two. Approaching 18-months, these two delights (terrors) are all over the place. Up, down, around, inside, outside, loud, loud, loud. The good is sooooo good, though. The squeals of happiness, the ‘mama’ and ‘dada,’ the mischievous wheels turning in their head as they decide whether to obey or defy. As a pair, they are adorable. They’ve begun playing Ring Around the Rosy, holding hands when we go out, and ‘giving love’ to each other (hugs and squeals, then rolling on the floor).

The challenges are typical, as I understand. MyBoy is clingy beyond description – arms around my legs, head in my lap, and pushing his sister out of my lap. Tantrums happen with great frequency, and his arched back and ear-splitting shouts are like background noise in our house. Early wake-ups (from naps at 2:30, when it used to be 4:00; and in the morning by 6:30, usually 7:30) continue to keep me a bit bleary, and MyBoy pretty cranky. His love/obsession with me, while frustrating, is so endearing that I cannot complain too awfully much – he is so sweet and dear.

My sweet girl is attitude through and through. She’s courageous, defiant, curious, and outspoken, yet pretty easygoing. She loves her daddy, and would rather be with him than anywhere, but isn’t pushy about it. She is obsessed with shoes and socks. When she is prematurely woken by her brother’s siren-like screams, she simply rolls on her back, pulls up her blanket, stares at the ceiling as if to say, “What, again?” She demurely smiles when I come into the room, and just after I pick her up, she’ll look around and ask “Dada? Daaaddy?” While she would sleep in if allowed, she’s been really fussy going to sleep at night.

So I turn to research. For the instruction-manual-type info, I’ve been reading this book, which likens my toddlers to chimpanzees and Cro-Magnan Man (quite accurately, actually!).

For real-life-experience advice, I turn to the ever-present Ask Moxie. I’ve read all about the 18-month sleep regression, the accompanying 18-month grumpy phase, and ever-important controversy on toddler shoes.

And for fun and entertainment, I just finished this book, which just made me giggle. Because everyone needs a good laugh every now and again.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I Do Like Sports, I Swear... Ice Skating and Gymastics.

I am eavesdropping, listening to my husband and Male Buddy have a telephone conversation using words and phrases like "spanktravision" and "can of whoopass."

Yes it's football. But WTF? Do people talk like that in real life? I thought it was just on ESPN.

Ahhh, no. I do remember a phase when "taste it, frat boy" was the phrase of choice.

God help me until football season is over.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Such a Total Dork

I love this thing.

I'll fully admit to being a gadget dork when it comes to cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras and basic computer stuff. I grew up with a gadget dork father (our first computer was a Commodore, maybe, hooked up to a small black and white television), and have managed to keep my gadget-dorkieness under control. I still secretly read product reviews and dream about what it must be like to have the newest, coolest thing (i*Phone, anyone?).

And when one of our gadgets goes on the fritz, I'm first in line to go check out the new ones so that I have a truly justified purchase to make. I don't usually give in to new ones, as the gadgets I covet are typically pretty expensive.

But I gave in on this (and it wasn't really expensive in comparison to, say, a new laptop or something). And I love it!

You talk to it. It makes your shopping/errand list. Press button, and voila! A little list for you to stuff in your wallet along with all of the other lists!

You should have seen me, sitting in my backyard (adjacent to a very busy alley with lots of pedestrian traffic), trying to get this thing to recognize my shopping list:

"Aaaa ruuuu gaaa laaaa."
"Aa RUUU gela."

I can only imagine what the homeless man, digging through the dirty diapers on top of the pile in my trashcan, hoping for a morsel of goodness, must have thought about the crazy lady speaking nonsense into a grey box instead of whipping out a pencil and paper like the rest of the world.