Thursday, September 30, 2010

Advice

Yesterday, I went to the doctor. The only way I can get in to see my doctor (after stupidly missing my appointment last week by an hour) was to do a Shared Medical Appointment. I thought it would be awkward, sitting in a room with other people, talking about you medical 'stuff' - but it was nice. It was a bunch of women, and each had the same issues as me, if not worse. But there was a young woman (maybe 22) talking about 22 year old issues - stuff that is such a lifetime away for me! Like birth control pills or being tired because she goes to her boyfriends place and then home... and her anxieties about starting new job or the fact that she 'doesn't really smoke' because she only smokes a few times a week.

It made me feel grown up and also OLD. But happy that I'm in the place I'm in. Yeah, bad shit has gone down. But to return to my early 20's? That was such a stressful place. You are still in that high school/college space where peer pressure is huge - but also you feel like you need to get set in your career, get married, blah blah blah. Now, 15 years later - I do have an established career, a husband, kids and a house. And I could give 2 shits what other people think of me. If only I could think of someway to tell her it'll all seem so silly in 10 years.

I think it's an Indigo Girl song that says "What would I give for my kid fears." Yep. The biggest fear I had was the monster in the basement.

I could give her advice on Neti pots! After Nora died, I pretty much cried for 2 weeks straight. I didn't think it was possible, but I did. My eyes hurt, my face was actually swollen under my eyes from all the snot... and a girlfriend gave me a sinus rinse thing (I can't find the exact name) but it made such a difference! It took me a couple days to even try it, but once I did it once - I was in love. It works so well! Doesn't really make any sense to me how it works.... but if you have been crying for weeks - or in the more likely case of allergies or a cold.... get thee a neti pot.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is it wrong that I think this is funny?

Every morning, I get Cam dressed. We name all the bits of clothes he puts on - jeans, socks, shoes, shirt, sweater... whatever. And some of his shirts have dogs on them, and he'll yell "Abby!" (because all dogs are Abby because that is our dogs name). A few have balls on them, like soccer balls or footballs and he'll declare "Ball!" when he sees those.

I got him new pack of socks that have footballs and soccer balls on them. This morning, he was running around the house proclaiming "Ball! Sock!" but it came out sounding more like Ball! Sack!

Heh heh.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Perspective

I'm having a rather shitty day. It's raining, weekend plans didn't go as smoothly as I'd wished, Aaron needed a root canal that cost us $1000 in co-pays and we need to figure out how to put in a well (thanks to our community well going bankrupt).

I was starting to feel all depressed about money (or lack thereof) and realized that we are rich. We've got two wonderful kids and a pretty great family and all will work out in the end.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Just shoot me now.

I'm sitting in my living room, working from home. The workday is almost over. I get a call from daycare. She starts out by saying 'It's not an emergency, everything is fine....' and goes on to say that Maggie was crying really hard and turned blue.

I hung up the phone and was at daycare within minutes. I called Aaron and told him she was fine but turned blue - and he was on the road in minutes.

I got to daycare and the director was standing at the doorway holding my smiling, happy baby girl. She took me into her office and I just held her and cried and cried and cried. Then I could finally listen to the story. Maggie just had her diaper changed, and her primary caregiver, A, put her on the floor. She crawled her way over the door, when the other provider was loading all the kids up into the stroller to go outside. Maggie just started crying (like she hurt herself or something) so A picked her up and tried to calm her down, at which point, Maggie was crying SO hard that she wasn't breathing and her lips went blue. A gave her a little whack on the back and she recovered just fine. They checked her over and we really can't see any place that looks like she got hurt. (Has Maggie turned into such a diva that she cries when someone turns their back on her? Gad save us if that is true). Daycare at first wasn't going to call. But the way the director tells it, she let A take her outside. And then the director went outside and said she should hold Maggie. And then decided that she should call me so I could hold Maggie.

Our doc and everyone tells us that it's OK. So we breathe deeply and move forward. I'm exhausted from the stress.

I have to say that I love our daycare. They knew exactly what to do. They could have never told me it happened, because I know that kids crying really hard will sometime turn blue. And Maggie recovered right away and was obviously totally and completely fine. But they know what we've gone through, and I swear, love our kids as much as we do. Knew we would want to know and check with our doc so we could be SURE.

God damn kids. Make me love them so much it hurts.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cold Medicine Induced Rant

I was reading Mel's posts about breast feeding. The second I read it, emotions came flooding back to me. I had so much pain when I decided not to breastfeed Cam. But after I made the decision, I knew it was the right thing to do. I didn't breastfeed Maggie for other reasons, but every once in a while I still regret it, even though I know it was the right thing to do.

And that's my parenting style. I do what I think is the right thing to do. For me. For MY kids. For MY family. I take all the information that is being thrown at me from a million different places and I do what I think it best for me, my personal situation, and my children's situation.

Everything is SO personal when it comes to child rearing. For us, we've had to deal with so much - it blows my mind when people make sweeping generalizations about parenting.

I can guarantee that no one can ever say that they know exactly what you are going through. Even if our situations seem similar from the outside -every single person pulls from various life experiences and beliefs to come to each decision we make. I was raised by a single, working woman. I'm too trusting. I had to go through a lot just to get pregnant. I got pregnant 'later' in life, after I had an established career. I had an emergency c-section when I really wanted a vaginal birth. I threw away formula samples that arrived before Cam's birth because I knew I would breastfeed. And I've formula fed all my children. I got pregnant by surprise (who knew that you could get pregnant when you had sex!?). I had twins. I lost a twin. I swore I would never co-sleep, and then slept holding Maggie in my arms for the first month of her life. I want to let my kids learn things on their own, but I don't want to ever see them hurt. I want to give them the best I can. I don't want my kids to have the issues with food and weight that I have had my whole life. I want them to know unconditional love. I want them to have fun with their parents, but I still feel that setting limits is very important. I want them to laugh and have fun and friends and not be too serious. I want them to succeed in life.

And I think that ALL parents want things like that for their family. But our society has changed the obvious goal of parenting - raising a successful child (whatever that label of success may be to you) and tainted it. You aren't successful unless you have a natural, vaginal birth. You aren't successful unless you breastfeed. You aren't successful unless you feed your children all organic foods. You aren't successful unless you child sleeps on his/her back. You should/shouldn't vaccinate. If something bad happens it's all your fault because you didn't do one or all of the above things.

How did we get like this? I know that our parents dealt with this too but it just seems that people have so much more to say about it now. Maybe it's because I'm living through it, but there are days when I hear yet another study telling me why my kids are going to have lower IQs and be obese because of some random thing I just want to scream STOP!

Parenting is a heck of a lot of common sense. Kids should get a good night's sleep. They should eat well. They should be loved and played with and read to. And given as many opportunities as is possible. But there is not one thing that is going to RUIN my child. And it makes me sad that we, as a society, feel that way. And it's hard to weed through the propaganda to get to the truth sometimes.

I guess I'm just wishing that we all lived in a wonderful world where everyone got along and were reasonable, loving, kind people. And, since I know that the whole world isn't like that, I will just try to surround my family with people who are and hopefully teach Cam and Maggie how to be loving and tolerant and kind and to eat their veggies. And try to remember to do the same myself.

Colds and cute baby talk

Well, we're all a little bit miserable in my house this week. The kids and I have colds. Aaron has an infected tooth.

Good times.

To cheer myself up, and also just to write these down so I won't forget - some pretty funny Cam Quotes and other things that he says a lot:
  • "I wanna rock." (this brings to mind the Twisted Sister song, but he is in fact asking to rock on the rocking chairs at the entrance of daycare)
  • "NotMama!" Not what you think it is. Cam calls pretty much anyone he loves a lot Mama. This drives Aaron crazy. But instead of saying, "Daddy" to try and get Cam to say the right name, Aaron would say "I'm NOT Mama". Therefore, Cam now calls him NotMama.
  • "Night-night" He is often telling me to 'Put Maggie night-night". Sorry buddy, Maggie isn't going to bed because you want to play.
  • "AweSOME!" He doesn't use this one in context yet, but it so cute to get him to say it. Of course, since we are in Boston, we are working on Wicked Awesome.... he totally doesn't get that yet.
  • "Wash?" Cam LOVES to wash things. His hands, the counter... his sister. I really have to keep an eye on him in the morning, because he'll take the sponge and wash Maggie face. She doesn't like that.
  • "Abby!". All dogs are Abby. This is because we have a dog named Abby.
  • "Wawa". That's water - it used to mean anything wet - but now it's lakes, the ocean, sprinklers, the tub and water to drink.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Random

Loads of different things going on in my head today:
  • Last night I dreamt that I lost Cam. I was watching him from a distance, watching his little red head play... and when he turned, it WASN'T Cam. All night, in my dream, I searched and I searched and I couldn't find him. It sucked. Thing that helped to freak me out - is that is usually how I watch Cam. He is almost always the only redhead - so if I see a red head in the sea of people playing, I know he is OK.
  • Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 35. Phew. This year has really aged me! When I blow out my candles, I'm wishing for a low key year, please.
  • I'm feeling pretty loved this weekend. Today, my quilting friends are going out to lunch with me, my friend Suzanne is taking me out to breakfast tomorrow, my mom is visiting and has planned out all meals while she is here. Apparently I'm eating my way through my birthday.
  • I went for a nice long walk on Weds, and yesterday I was so sore I couldn't think about doing it again. Sigh. It takes no time at all to get out of shape.
  • All the new to me clothes are packed away and old stuff put in boxes to leave the house. That is the beauty of knowing you are done with kids - the second something is outgrown it leaves! And having loads of friends with baby girls helps. The stuff Maggie outgrows goes to our best friends daughter, Stella. The stuff I just got that Maggie isn't ready for? My friend down the street with a daughter Cam's age gets it for now. And some other things that Stella will never fit into got shipped to a baby girl in Florida whose mom is has hit financial hard times. If I were a superhero, I'd be BabyClothes Woman!
  • Of course, with Cam, I don't have anyone to hand stuff down to, so I think I'm going to drop them off at the local consignment shop. Anything they don't want will get dumped in the donation bin.
  • I invited everyone I know to a Halloween party at our house. I didn't really think about it in advance, but there is a possibility that 100 people will be there. My plan was to have ribs for the adults, pizza for the kids, and stay outside. Aaron brought up the point - how the hell will he cook enough ribs for 60+ adults? What if it rains? Or is cold? I'm wondering how many people will show up. Like Suzanne says - it'll either be a big success or a good story.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Clothes. Again.

Does anyone feel like all they do is sort baby clothes? Even if I didn't go out and buy HUGE lots of stuff, Maggie grows out of things so fast! At least Cam has slowed down - but I just spent the last week pulling out fall stuff, getting rid of small things, replenishing PJs... phew.

I've mentioned before, I decided to stay on the email list for the local twins group mostly because of the awesome deals they have. Stuff that I'm sure I could find if I scoured the tag sales and consignment shops... but I don't have the time, energy or patience for that. Sure, my heart pangs a little bit to see postings for twins stuff, but the Thrifty Yankee in me can set it aside knowing that the deals are worth it. With Cam, I totally wasn't on top of the whole clothes thing. I would find outfits, brand new, that he never wore, after he grew out of them. I've got a new system, where I put each group of clothes in a bin by size, and on the outside, list exactly what is in there. This way, if someone posts that they have 12 3T boys PJs for $20 - I can pop up and check and see if I do or don't have boys PJs. (That was my latest deal! Does it kill anyone else the price of PJS new? $20!!!! Christ). Thankfully, I also have a group of friends that sometimes will go in on stuff with me - because Cam certainly doesn't need 12 pairs of PJs.

Yesterday, I went over to a woman's house who had identical twin girls and a another girl. I bought this HUGE lot of clothes from her for $250. The stuff is amazing. Funny thing is - a lot of it never even got worn! She is of the school that it's too nice, the kids will ruin it. I'm the opposite. I say - wear the nice expensive stuff! Everyday! To school, in the back yard.... that is what it's for. Sure, sometimes it kills me to see Cam sliding around in the muck with a pair of Tea pants... but whatever.

She must have stored these clothes in a place where a cat slept IN them, or in the attic with a lot of dust - because my allergies were killing me by the time I left. So I took the box right up tot he laundry, and just now finished sorting through everything. I figured I got almost 150 things, and a lot were really nice dress sets, jeans (it kills me how much the jeans for babies cost!) and pjs. Maggie is totally set for clothes until 2T... at which point she is a little thin.

Now to pray that she is 18 month size next summer. The 18 month dresses I got from this woman are insanely cute.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Cam got a super cool new jacket - but I have to say that the picture I took is funnier if you look at Maggie in the background. She is a total ham for the camera.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alone in the morning

I'm at my house, alone, on a work morning. That never happens. But Cam woke up crying at the top of his lungs at 5 AM and Aaron got up with him. He told me to go back to bed - that he would take the kids to school. I did go back to sleep after Aaron got ready for the day (Cam was in bed with me crying/watching TV until Aaron got out of the shower)... and then about an hour later I hear Aaron stomping up the stairs. I pop out of bed because I swore I heard him say that someone threw up (thinking it was maybe Cam and that was why he woke up crying)... and open the door to see if everything it ok.

He snaps at me that it's not ok - Maggie spit up all over her pants, the dogs were eating the garbage and both kids are sick (coughing and stuffy noses).

Now I do feel badly. I honestly didn't hear him downstairs dealing with all this - I was up half the night with a wicked headache so I was grateful for another hour of sleep. If I knew what a pain in the ass everyone was being, I would have gotten up and helped. But, on the other hand - he never has had to deal with both of them in the morning with out me. And I'm used to it - but this is pretty much some version of what every morning is like for me (minus the Cameron getting up at 5 AM.)

Aaron gives Maggie a bottle before he leaves for work. So I get to sleep until usually 6:30 or 7. I get up, get dressed, get ready for the day, and by then, Cam is up. I go in, get Cam dressed and ready to go, and then we both go wake up Maggie. I then somehow get everyone downstairs. Cameron used to follow me right downstairs, but now... not so much. He starts down the stairs enough that I think he's coming, and then he turns around to get his book. Or his blanket. Or whatever. So I'm downstairs making breakfast, making lunches, and yelling "Come on CAM! Breakfast!". Eventually he will come down.

Then starts the 'helping' phase of the morning. Cam 'helps' me make his breakfast (by standing on a chair and dictating to me what to put in his smoothie. Dis! Milk! Nana!). Cam then totally makes me my coffee - here is a video I took of that:


video

And then I struggle to get out the door before anyone poops. Which is rarely successful.

Anyway, Aaron did take them to school, will be at his office hours later than he usually is and I know he is mad at me. But he also got a little taste of some of my mornings.

I owe you another post on the weekend. My MIL was in full form, and this time Aaron was there to see it - so that was fun. And probably 75% of the reason that he was so crabby this morning.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bah.

Today I saw my therapist (I used to call him my Crazy Doc - as in the Doc that keeps me from going Crazy - but Aaron said it sounds more like I'm saying that Doctor that is Crazy... so I stopped). Things are kind of piling up on me and it was good that I went. I actually almost canceled, but forgot to - and since I'm cheap (you have to pay for the session if you don't cancel within 24 hours) I went.

One of the things I've been struggling with is a way to commemorate Nora. At first, I thought the tree would be the right thing. Help bring closure (whatever the hell that means). Well, it didn't. Putting her ashes under that tree didn't make me feel any better. Add in the fact that the tree looks like it's dying, and I was stressing out. Fortunately, we had a tree guy come and look at it, and it is in fact still alive - just stressed. Which makes sense with all the heat we've had. He told us that a new tree can look rough for up to two years after you plant it. I feel better, but not all the way.

I have a necklace with a very small single diamond on it that I got when Cam was born. I love it and I never take it off. I was trying to think of something similar to do for the girls... and just never could come up with anything. I finally decided to get some earrings. I have 2 holes in my left ear (remnants of the '80's) so my idea was to have an earring with Nora's birthstone in that second hole. I would leave it in all the time. I decided to get two citrines (the girl's birthstone) and one blue zircon (Cam's birthstone). I would wear the girls in my left ear, and Cam's in the single hole on the right. I found some simple hoops on Etsy that I could keep in all the time. They arrived on Tuesday and I put them right in. The one that was for Nora? The citrine freaking cracked.

I know it's silly. It's just a tree and an earring. They don't REALLY represent Nora... but seriously. SERIOUSLY. Can I catch a break? My good friend told me that maybe it's a sign that Nora it meant to only live in my heart - but I just wanted something nice and small... and it seems like every effort fails. The Esty seller is sending me another stone, but it was just bugging me.

So - he helped me talk through those things, and also help me with the fact that I can't stop thinking about what our lives would be like now if Nora was still here. Because I can't stop thinking about that either. You ever think back on little decisions that changed your life drastically? Like what college you chose or what little thing you did that made you be able to meet your spouse? Well, if Nora hadn't died, my life would be drastically different. We wouldn't have the kids in daycare (where we now have lots of friends). Life would certainly be more hectic. I would have had to get a new car, and a load of other huge expenses. I'm sure I would be under massive pressures. But I'm not. I'm under different pressures, but life is good. The kids are good. Aaron and my relationship is good. And he said something that helped - you can think about what your life 'could have been' - but that isn't what it is. Your life is what it is, and you are doing the best you can with it. And he is right.

And something else struck me this week. While I was feeling crappy, Mel wrote a post on jealousy. This part really hit me: I’m not a fan of this idea that we need to be happy 100% of the time. We were given this enormous palette of emotions for a reason. I don’t think it’s our job to always try to realign towards happiness. I think it’s okay to remain for a while in sadness and explore it as long as we don’t allow ourselves to inadvertently board up all the exits out of the emotion.

She is right. Why do we always strive to be happy? Happiness is great, but you should feel sad sometimes. Or angry. Or jealous. So the fact that I'm sad about losing Nora every once in a while - that's good. Or jealous of new moms that have the luxury of complaining about the fact that they are having trouble breastfeeding (I get jealous often of mom's that didn't spend the first three months of their babies lives freaking out that they may die. Sigh). And that I'm feeling these emotions is good too. Not only good, but normal and healthy. And that is OK.

Bah. Sorry to dump all this out at you - but it's good for me to get it out, somehow.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

9 month check up

Maggie had her nine month check up - everyone in the office couldn't stop saying how grown up she was looking. I agree! It's like in the last couple weeks she's gone from little baby to a Baby. She is totally engaged with everyone, smiles all around, and showed everyone just how perfect she is. Maggie is now 28 1/4 inches long, and 19 lbs 10 oz! That's my girl! She is 75% for height and 65% for weight. And perfectly healthy and doing all the right things (babbling, crawling, getting teeth, pulling up).

I used to be so stressed out about Maggie, because I was comparing her to Cam. That has gone away a lot, I think mostly because it's so obvious that Maggie is her own little person. So different from Cam in so many ways, there is just no comparision.

This weekend was awesome. We did so much - want to Edaville, USA to see Thomas the Train, IKEA for a few things, had a playdate with Cam's best friend from daycare, and went to a really fun BBQ with friends. It was a perfect long weekend - nice and relaxed with perfect weather.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tracks

In case you are ever hunting the elusive toddler, I give you this lesson:

Bear Tracks:

Toddler Tracks:
Cam likes to 'sneak' up on the ocean. It never saw him coming.