Sunday, July 31, 2011

Monday (almost)

Another weekend gone: more friends visiting (new and old), another photo shoot (slightly less warm than last week), two cats sitting at the door wondering where their human playmates have gone (apparently we don't count).

V's birthday is Wednesday, so I'm plotting/trying to plot surprises and fun for us.  She has the whole day off, and I have most if not all off, so we should be able to have fun.

We're both completely wiped out right now.  Hopefully there will be some restorative sleep and we can feel fresh for this coming week.  Or fresh with each other.  Either one works.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anonymous

Hi, I'm Lina, and I'm an overcommitter.

For the first time ever, I had a four-sit day.  It was only supposed to be a three; I can't say no.  But I absolutely love my families, and it wasn't that bad of a day (just long).  The twins and I went to visit Essie, Anne, and V, and the kids played together from the moment we arrived, no warm-up needed.  V and I got to relax some, too.  Then I went to Seth and Isabella, and had about half an hour of reading time during Seth's quiet time and Isabella's nap.  Seth and I played; he didn't annoy me.  Bug's mom had texted me asking if I was free for even just an hour, and I told her I could squeeze in 4:30-5:30.  I fed Andrew carrots, calmed Bug's meltdown, put Andrew down for a nap, played with Bug, and left to go help Kali's mom handle the three girls while her husband is out of town.

She and I basically talked for two and a half hours, while I held Kali and she got the girls dinner and baths.  For the first time, we talked openly about V and me.  She'd known; I'd just never mentioned it.  We had such a great talk: about babies, the gay, religion, families, names, miscarriages, health food...everything.  It was awesome to be able to talk to one of my moms for awhile.  I choose my families because we click, and so it's always sad that they're running out the door when I arrive (though I totally understand).

Plus, they're just all awesome people.  I texted Bug's mom from Seth's house, "I forgot lunch; could you make me a sandwich instead of paying me?"  She paid me anyway, of course, plus had the sandwich made when I got there, plus sent me on my way with some dinner.

I love my families to pieces.  I'm exhausted.  I'm off tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Acka-him

The title of this post is how Bug says aquarium, to the best of my transcribing abilities.  She and I went this morning.  She literally ran through the place; we were in and out in forty minutes and that included watching the penguin show.  We both loved it, though.  Aside from her being on a "mine!" kick, she was an angel (which isn't something I get to say about Bug very often).

We went to the bookstore and read for awhile (I love Leslie Patricelli and want all her books), then went to a grilled cheese and soup place that I love.  This location had just opened, and I hadn't known about it, so I was super happy - and so was Bug, who wolfed down her sandwich and split tomato soup with me.

In August, she and Andrew are most likely going to start a once-a-week daycare.  Their parents want them to be around kids more, plus it will give their mom a break; I think it's a good idea, for these two.  I'll be interested to see how it goes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happier

We went to the Apple store and bought V a new laptop tonight, for school.  The brand new Macbook Air: I have extreme jealousy.  It's so pretty.  And the girl who sold it to us was also so pretty.

Also, Saabs are out, as parts are expensive, according to my father.  Right now I can't find a VW Golf at a dealership (I'm wary of private sales and used car places) with the right age and mileage.  So, no car for me yet.  It will come.  Pretty please.

Chew more

Patrick is still not chewing.  I just got off the phone with his mom, who called to talk about it and so we'd be on the same page.  It's not something he does for her; he has other quirks for his parents.

This morning, he wouldn't finish chewing his breakfast.  So I offered laundry - they love putting clothes in the dryer, and used to fight over turning it on so much that I introduced 'closing the door' as a second job (it's definitely not as coveted, but reduces the fighting).  No go.  Lilly and I did the laundry, to the tune of Patrick's sulk and throwing his milk on the floor.  Then I tried offering helping load the van, since I'd promised Lilly a playground trip.  No go.  Finally, I said we were leaving, but that he couldn't play until his mouth was empty; he'd have to sit on a bench at the park.

An hour later, we left the park.  He never played.  When we got home, I made him spit the bite out, then put him in time out.  I was so frustrated.

Lunch: I had to threaten to put him down for nap early, and go so far as to take him up, put him in his crib, and leave him.  Three minutes later, after ferocious yelling, he started chewing and came back downstairs.  I had to nag him the rest of the meal.

Tomorrow: time limits.  I will try the bribery route, but if that doesn't work, he just won't eat.  We have gymnastics and have to leave at a certain time.  He might be cranky (which punishes me...) but it will be his own fault that he's hungry.  I am over this.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend

We've been busy this weekend: photoshoot, art museum, shopping, having an amazing dinner cooked for us...  Very sad to see friends leave today.  V is editing the pictures now, though, and they turned out great (as I knew they would).

So things have been busy but slow.  Not too much on my mind.  We're considering whether we might be more comfortable buying a $7-8k and replacing it in 5 years as opposed to a $15-16k car that might last us 10.  Somehow we just can't commit to that much money; the latest, though, is that my car without air conditioning also now has a troublesome passenger window.  It's starting to come out of its track, so it's permanently up now.  Yippee.

We've looked at VW Golfs/Rabbits, and now I just learned to my great disappointment that Saab stopped making their hatchbacks in 2002.  Why, Swedes, why?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot pics

We have friends visiting, the couple whose wedding reception we went to a few weeks ago.  Our present to them is a photoshoot, so we're all going out in the morning to try to get some good pictures.  Of course, it's still in the middle of a heat wave.  We'll see how this goes!

I'll probably be pretty quiet on here for a day or two, but if it's been longer, assume I died of heat stroke.

Chew

Lately Patrick has stopped chewing.  There's no other way to describe it, and it's driving me up a wall.  He'll take a bite and let it sit in his mouth; if I tell him to take another one, sometimes he'll say "still chewing" and sometimes he'll shove another one in and let them both sit.

I've taken the TV away from him, I've put him in time out, I've turned his chair around until he finishes his bite.  But it starts again with the next one.

Today he shoved so much in his mouth that he threw up all over his chair and the floor.  Part of me hopes that will teach him a lesson, but I'm not optimistic, because when I left today, I'd already put Lilly down and I turned over Patrick - with three small pieces of peach in his tightly clamped mouth - to his father.  He doesn't seem to have learned anything.

He's driving me crazy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Egypt

The twins have discovered Little Einsteins, and it's what they ask for first at lunch now.  There are seven or so episodes available on demand.  Today, we watched (for the second time) the one about helping the Great Sphinx put his magic puzzle back together.

At one point when I walked back in after washing some dishes, Lilly told me excitedly, "They're finding puzzle piece for great stinks!"

Ancient Egypt will never be the same.

Oh dear

The heat index today is up to 114.  My car doesn't have air conditioning.
This has nothing to do with the subjects of this blog, but everything to do with the fact that I might die.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Moms

I was going over to watch Kali this afternoon, as usual, and her sisters (the three year old twins, Laura and Danielle) were going to be awake for a good chunk of it.  A few hours before my arrival, their mom texted me: "FYI Laura is being an emotional a-hole today."

That phrasing is pretty common: she loves her kids, but recognizes that they can be a pain in the rear.  She doesn't call them that to their faces, but she has no hesitations about saying it to me or their father.

I love it.  Sure, it may not be the most proper thing, but it can be so refreshing just to hear a mother admit that, yes, her kid was acting like a piece of shit.  And boy was she today.  That child.  Grr.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sweetness

If you need a pick-me-up, or to see some beauty, or just a smile, go look at these pictures.  It's a blog I follow (notice the sidebar!) thanks to Offbeat Mama; apparently they just had a family photo session, and it's stunning.  It doesn't help that their little girl is utterly adorable.

V wants to copy some of these compositions whenever she does families.  I don't blame her.  I can only anticipate the time when we can have our own version!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Adventures

I texted the twins' mom briefly while we were at the Natural History Museum the other day, telling her how cute Patrick was with the old phone, and how much fun we all were having.  One of her responses to me was, "Thanks for being into taking them! I love the fact that you take them places."

This blew my mind, to a degree.  I was beyond excited when they got the new car and I could have the van, when we could branch out from the local coffeshop and aimless walks.  I want to go everywhere.  We're in gymnastics, we're in kindermusik, we go to the zoo and aquarium and museums.  I have a blast.

I even think my homeschooler-esque (I was homeschooled; I can say that) trips pay off: Lilly mentioned earlier something about the art museum.  I want them to experience everything we can get our hands on.  I know their mom has always shied away some from taking them places, because it can be overwhelming, but they're growing up so fast, and they're so interested in everything.  I want to take advantage of that.

I am so, so into taking them places.  If only she knew how much.
(Also, even though I can take no credit for them, I love getting told how cute they are when we're out.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Almost precious

When the twins and I were out on a walk last night, I caught a lightning bug to show them.  I held it near the stroller, and they stared.

Then it flew onto Patrick's chin, where he instinctively smacked it, and it fell down into the stroller, presumably dead.

Well, it was a sweet moment up till then.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Breaking

Breaking as in news, that is, not as in toddlers shattering things.

I have a longer post coming later, but I just have to say:
I just got a facebook request from V's mom to list me as her daughter.

This is big, y'all.  And I don't use the word y'all.
Request accepted!!

Golf

Lilly: Mommy and daddy are working.
Me: Actually, they're playing golf today.
Lilly: Mommy and daddy play golf.
Me: Yep.
Lilly: My golf by curtain. [points toward the hippo kids golf set]
Me: Yes, your little set is over by the curtain.
Lilly: It's kinda little.

Mystery

I figured out why the stroller was raining plastic forks.
Apparently, the closet where it lives also houses plastic utensils, and the box had fallen a few times.  No one realized that forks had fallen out.
It was hilarious, though.

Today we might try for the children's museum.  I've been here since 8:30, and I got the kids just before 9:30 (early day for them!).  I'll be here till 2:30 or so, and then back around 5:30.  In between, I think I'll join V with Bug and Andrew.  Long kids day, but should be fun!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Zoo

I was going to come up with a clever title for this post, but I'm too tired.  The twins and I went to the zoo today; it turned out to be a great trip, but it was pretty terrible in the beginning.

We arrived at that awful time when all the early-morning crowd hasn't left yet, but the afternoon crowd is starting to arrive.  All the lots were full, I got slightly lost trying to find another one, and then I ended up in a super crowded back lot near an entrance that I haven't used.  It took three tries (in three different spots) to park the van.  I borrowed sunscreen from a mom nearby because it had totally slipped my mind.  Plastic forks kept raining out of the stroller (not kidding).  It wasn't hot, until I was pushing a double stroller up the hill.  Patrick was whiny.  And then I discovered that Lilly's milk had spilled inside the cooler bag, which had leaked, soaking the bottom of the stroller and my purse (which thankfully didn't have my phone and wallet in it).

I almost left.  But I pulled everything out of the bottom of the stroller, and then left the mess for whenever we encountered napkins.  There were fewer hills.  I put my hair up.  People started leaving, so the crowds thinned a lot.  Plastic forks kept raining.  The twins fed the giraffe, which put them in great moods (and the giraffe, I'm sure).

I'd packed a lunch, and we shared a table with a mom and her two kids.  She told me that they had just hired a nanny, and asked what I would recommend the family do to make things easier (my answer: communicate. about everything.).  I promised my two a ride on the carousel after lunch; Patrick was game but started crying when it came time to actually get on.  Lilly rode a zebra.  Patrick sat on a bench (on the ride) and sulked.  At the end, Lilly put up a bit of a fuss about wanting to go again, but not a huge fit; I was glad she liked it.  I asked Patrick what he thought: "I did not like it."

We weren't back home till after 2.  Oops.  But I'm just glad it turned into a good day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Difficulty

It's hard to write a blog post with a cat coming and nipping/purring/swatting/cuddling/gnawing/rubbing every three seconds.  At least with a baby you can put them down?

Not that there's too much interesting to write about.  Bug, Andrew, their mom, and I went to the pool today, which was great: definitely one of the perks of my job.  It completely wore me out though (isn't it supposed to do that to the kids instead?).

Friday is one of those days where I have the twins all morning and then again in the evening.  I'm pretty much only gone when they're napping.  At least Saturday V and I get to sit together, for Paisley, whom we never get to see.

Then we have two gay weekends back to back!  Or at least that's how V phrased it.  Two couples coming on two consecutive weekends, and it's going to be awesome.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Three

I haven't done three families back to back in awhile.  I have the twins this morning, Seth and Isabella this afternoon, and Kali and her sisters this evening.  V is coming with me to that one; I'm ridiculously excited that she finally gets to meet Kali.  I love that little girl.

Of course, I need to go now, so I can have a hope of getting the twins to gymnastics on time.  Yesterday was a miracle day with no timeouts or giant fits, so we'll see what today brings.  I guess if they're bad, I can hope the next kids are better!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rent

This is how I pay my rent:
V and I, in swimsuits, and two little girls and a little boy, running through a sprinkler on a one hundred degree day, laughing, while a four month old sits in a baby chair and looks on.

Yes, the twins can drive me crazy.  But today was wonderful.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Warm days

It's hot today.  Will be tomorrow, too.  I think I'll set up the sprinkler for the twins, and V might bring her girls over.

Today we went downtown for the Pride parade.  We'd never actually been to one, and of course we had a blast.  Lots of booths, music, the works.

We're going to attempt to find friends again.  We need them.

Sorry this is so sporadic.  Just checking in before we dig into the brownies we bought at Whole Foods.  Yum.

(In two weekends, amazing friends from our wedding are coming to visit!  And more friends are threatening to.  So exciting.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pioneer

When I watch Bug and Andrew by myself, Bug usually watches tv while I give Andrew his bath and put him down.  She's just not quite trustworthy downstairs by herself: she could quietly play with her dollhouse for half an hour, or she could empty every box in the pantry all over the floor.

Tonight after dinner, she asked to play outside.  She went out back, and ten minutes later, it was time for Andrew's bath.  I called for her to come in and watch tv; she told me that no, she'd rather stay outside.  Well.  I couldn't make her come watch tv.  That would make me feel guilty forever.

I grabbed Andrew's bathtub, washcloth, and towel, and took them all out to the table on the back porch.  So yes, he had a bath outside.  Bug stared at the whole setup for awhile, then went back to playing.  Andrew was taken aback, but seemed to enjoy himself.

I really, really wish his baby bathtub had been instead a giant wooden barrel.  I was so close to feeling like a pioneer mother, scrubbing down the baby out back on a nice afternoon.  So close.

Sweetness

Something that I don't get to write about often: toddler twin sweetness.

I heard crying from upstairs, which usually means Lilly has stolen something from Patrick and he's upset.  I went up, preparing to deal with the millionth crisis of the day.  When I walked into the nursery, I saw Lilly sitting on the floor next to the rocking chair, holding her fingers.  Patrick was sitting next to her, peering into her eyes, asking, "You okay Sissy?" over and over.

She'd pinched her finger in the rocker, and it hurt, hence the tears.  He brought over her blanket, and sat next to her, making sure she was okay.

It was a moment of sweetness that I really needed.  It makes me smile even still.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brain (left)

A sentence I never thought I'd say:
I'm rethinking this whole childcare thing.
And another:
I think I want to put off having kids for a few years.

Part of me has been neglected for the past year or so.  I'm about to come up on my one year anniversary working with the twins, and lately there's been a feeling of discontent.  I'm a left-brain person.  I can tell you all my kids' birthdays and addresses off the top of my head; facts and numbers are my forte.  With the exception of the wedding, I haven't gotten to use that part of me much in this past year.

I miss excel documents, emails with questions, organization and order.

I don't want to give up childcare.  It's not an option, nor am I ready to leave the twins or other families I've gotten so attached to.  But I need to work on the parts of me that are ignored.  I don't have time in my schedule to pick up a part-time secretary gig.  I've tossed around being a wedding planner, because I enjoyed mine so much, but I don't think I'm ready for that commitment.  V and I joke about owning our own B&B, but that's years down the road.  I want to volunteer at a stable and get back into riding lessons, but horses aren't known for admiring a perfect excel sheet.

I'm at a loss.  I'm pushing through with my kids, because I don't have a choice, but my heart isn't in it right now.  And I don't feel like it will be back until I can satisfy all of it.  I just need to figure out how.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dry

I've always worried that I'll burn out with kids.  It's one of the first questions people ask me when they find out what I do - "Oh, you think you'll burn out with that?"

The past few days I've felt burnt out.  I worried.  There isn't really an escape option.
Today, Patrick was sick, so I unexpectedly had the day off.  V was off too.  We test drove a car, joined our checking accounts, had a relaxing lunch, and browsed some stores.
My depression has been bad the past week or so.  (There's a lot behind that sentence, but I don't want to go into it all.)  One of the symptoms is a loss of interest in what used to be, well, interesting.

I don't think I'm burnt out.  I've just run a little dry, and it'll come back.  I'm just waiting on the upswing to get here.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rest

This weekend has been one of the best, literally.  It easily rivals our honeymoon (though that was longer), simply because...well, I was going to say because I wasn't sick, but we both actually started this week with the tail end of what turned out to be a four-day debilitating headache.  It's gone though, thankfully.

The bed and breakfast we're staying at is run by two super friendly gay men (though which aren't?), and features llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, bunnies, and a pig.  I may have left some out.  We helped feed them tonight, and raked some hay and generally felt farm-y.  This afternoon we went on an hour-long horseback ride that felt wonderful; whenever our magical disposable income appears, that's one of the first things I'm going to take back up.  Plus, the town we're next to is having a big July 4th festival, with a carousel and funnel cakes and corn dogs and balloon dart games and more.  We've had a blast.

I can't pinpoint what's done it.  But we've both just rested here in a way that we haven't in a long, long time.  We'd been so run down.  I want to stay forever.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Holding

Andrew officially might be the cutest thing in the world, holding his own bottle for a dream feed while I change his diaper.  His sleep sack was unzipped at the bottom, his pajama pants were around his ankles, his eyes were closed, and his two little hands were holding up the bottle as he sucked on it fiercely.

That child has my heart.

July

Happy July, all.  V and I are headed to a bed and breakfast for the next few days, so I'll be sparse.

This morning, the twins' mom was off and so she and I took the kids swimming.  We had lots of fun, but now I have strange little red bumps all over my body.  I don't want to take Benadryl, because I need to pack and do the dishes instead of sleep.  But we'll see.

Though I'm already tired...  And it's a legitimate reason...