Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Business

Photography business is starting to pick up, which is super exciting.  Now that we've just about learned to juggle her dance teaching, her classes, my twins, our much larger house, and our first year of marriage, we're adding in lots of photography, and an etsy sale on the side.  Life's a whirlwind!

I had a moment of realism last night.  V and I are thinking of baby-making occurring around the same time she graduates, but we've also tossed around the idea of baby-appearing not too long after graduation...which would mean we would start baby-making in just over a year.  Now, I don't think this is the route we'll go, but it still drew me up short.  Life's getting serious!

So is Lilly's life, apparently.  She sat on the couch earlier, her laptop in her lap, holding a cell phone to her ear, and glanced at Patrick and me.  "Can you guys be quiet please?  I'm trying to work."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Weather

Today has been absolutely gorgeous - the twins and I were at the playground for two and a half hours this morning.  And I ran lots of errands on the scooter and loved it.

V and I watched baby Kali tonight, who isn't such a baby anymore.  She's ten and a half months: crawling, squawking, and being a person.  I love it.

This Friday, we fly out for our anniversary!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Words

Patrick, yesterday, coming upstairs with lots of toys:
"I have a lot of hands in my stuff."
He didn't even realize he'd said it backward, which was even cuter.

Him, today, watching the crazy wind blow leaves past the van:
"Um...Lina...where's the leaf-blower?"
I had to explain to him that it was just the wind; there was no leaf-blower.  Oh these modern kids.

Addendum

One thing I left off the "I love Seth and Isabella" list:

Isabella, as she's doing a Star Wars puzzle, says, "I love Star Wars.  R2D2 is my favorite."  Then she makes a creepily accurate sounding impersonation.  (Imrobotation?)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Awesome

I watched Seth and Isabella today for the first time in months.  Somehow, I'd forgotten how much I love those kids.  Isabella turns 3 in a few months, and Seth turns 5 right after her birthday.  We played with legos in the basement for a long time; Isabella built up a tall tower and said, "Look, it's Coit Tower, and this is Telegraph Hill!"  ...Did I mention that I love them?

Then she started singing, "I've been high, I've been low."  Seth joined in: "I've been yes, I've been no..."  I was trying my hardest to place the song, when they both sang out "I've been rock and roll and disco, won't you save me San Francisco!"

Again with the love.  Also, I think Isabella has more hair than head.  It looks awesome.

Work

Patrick and Lilly and I went to visit their mom at work yesterday, and we ate lunch with her in the cafeteria.  It was nice - she and I get along well, the kids behaved great, and I think we'll do it more often.  She works in a very professional capacity, and after looking around for awhile, I commented, "Sometimes I do think I want a professional job."  Her immediate response was "Not for a few more years at least!" with a significant look at the kids.  Made me feel good.

They've had a really good week.  I've had maybe one or two tantrums since Monday?  I'm really hoping tomorrow continues the trend.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Well now

Me: Okay guys, we need to go get in the van for school.
Lilly: Not yet, I'm still using my imagination.

...how on earth do I come back to that one?!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Etc

I related an anecdote to the twins' mom today that involved my youngest half-brother, who is now 5.  A few minutes later, a very confused Lilly asked me, "You have baby brother at your house?"  Oops.  "No, he lives with my mommy.  I live with V."

In other news, I'm pursuing a few hours' worth of left-brain work: organizing, errands, planning, data entry, whatever.  I'm trying to find something to fill that hole that's appeared since dedicating my life to three-year-olds.  One of the great things about working with Patrick and Lilly is that their mom is part of a huge twins' network in the area, and she's more than happy to forward my information out.

My cute wife is sitting on the floor with a kitty cat curled up in her lap.  It would be a Precious Moment (TM) if the cat weren't nibbling on her hand, and if V's eyes were shaped like giant teardrops.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tears

I just canceled our reservation for the gorgeous room V and I were married in, where we were going to stay for our anniversary night in two weeks.  Money's gotten tighter than we realized, and now I find that a little glitch in my taxes means we owe roughly the amount that room cost.

I'm crying.  I hate this.  I fucking hate this.
(Oh, yeah.  Language warning.)

UU

V and I visited a local UU church today.  We'd been thinking about it for awhile, and I'm glad we finally went.  During part of the service, I was wondering why we were there (or really why anyone was, for that matter), but afterward, some really friendly people introduced themselves to us.  Two of them are working on their PhDs.  Intellectual, and interested in talking to us?  Yes please!

I'm sure we'll go back, just not sure when.  It was nice to be around people, and I like singing in groups of people.  And I suppose you can never hear too much about love.  On the one hand, I don't fully understand why there is a "church" without a central deity or being for it to revolve around.  But, there wasn't anything that I disliked, either.

And maybe we'll make more friends.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Photo

We did a photoshoot yesterday with a mom and her adorable, tiny three-month-old.  And I got to hold the baby briefly at the end.  So little!

Also, someone found V's website by searching "crossdressing friendly photographer" and our city.  Whoever it is hasn't contacted her (yet?), but seriously, how awesome is that?  Much love to Google Analytics for telling us, too.  That darn time-waster.

I've been busy lately stressing about money and trying to better my French.  Those are the top two things on my brain at this exact moment, but of course there is always more.  V and I were thinking about going out dancing tonight; since we're currently child-free, we might as well take advantage of it...though I think she has a headache.  May try the UU church tomorrow morning, too.  We'll see.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Variant

Patrick has always been the boy who likes to wear bows like his sister, but after today, I think I can honestly say I'm "parenting" a gender variant kid.  We had an accident at gymnastics, and of course I didn't have any extra clothes.  Lilly was in leggings, so I put her underwear on Patrick so we could at least leave the bathroom.  He pulled it up, grinned at it, and grinned at me - I think he prefers teal with monkeys to Thomas the Tank Engine.

When one of the other moms arrived, I asked if she had any extra clothes by chance.  Patrick is the only boy in the class, but hey - if the pants fit, I didn't care who they were made for.  Thankfully, she did have some pants.  Corduroy, peachy-pink, sparkly, his size.  He was pretty happy with those, too.  I was happy he was clothed (and secretly also very happy that he was so happy at the girls' pants).

When we got home, he ran to show Daddy that he was in "his friend Ellie's pants."  I said something about him liking them, and his dad responded "I'm sure he does."  Once Patrick got his diaper on for nap, he opted to put the borrowed pants back on.  He smiled and told me they were "fancy pants!"

He picked out his stickers (another post, but long story short, they get stickers for eating without tantrums); I heard "Lina look what I got!" and he ran down the hallway to show me the two glittery princess stickers.  He was really super excited about those.

I love this kid.  I love that he's in the family he's in.  I hate that I'm sure "society" will beat this out of him soon, or if not, that he'll be fighting for a very long time.  But I took a picture of him in pink sparkly corduroys so I'll remember.  Patrick, you're awesome, and you don't even know why.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Manners

Lilly and Patrick both throw killer tantrums sometimes, but I realized that when I say that, it's not always clear what I mean.  My strategy (which I didn't even notice until recently) is to highlight smaller episodes of bad manners; calling those "tantrums," or reproving the kids for acting out, before they end up screaming and losing it, seems to keep a better hold on the day.

Let me explain.  Or at least sum up.  (Princess Bride, ten points.)  The other day at lunch, Patrick did something he commonly does: he quits eating, and when I ask him to take a bite, he grunts at me.  Sometimes he'll pick up food and put it between his lips, staring at me and letting it sit there.  Regardless, he very definitely is no longer eating.  This, to me, is a tantrum.  This is unacceptable behavior.

When he does something like this, I ask him if he's going to eat, or if he would prefer to throw a tantrum.  Cue more grunting.  If he continues to not eat, I tell him that there are no tantrums allowed at the table, and he must go up to his room if he doesn't want to eat.  He rarely leaves the table voluntarily, so usually I carry him upstairs.

Am I too strict?  Sometimes I think so.  But, I really do think that this cuts back on the number of blowout tantrums.  They know I don't tolerate misbehavior.  And, to be honest, I expect a lot from them.  They are almost three and a half.  Still very much young children, but also plenty old enough to cooperate.  I know my expectations are high, but it's not harming them, and it makes the rest of our lives so much nicer.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Reconsidering

I've meant to post a follow-up to my previous post, but I keep putting it off.  Once yucky feelings are behind me, I like to leave them there.  What I realized, basically, is that I spent two days feeling incredibly welcomed: V's mom made sure, many times, that both our sister-in-law and I knew we were also welcome to take things from grandmother's house, and we were both consoled as "legitimate" family.

Then, coming home on that high, and finding out that no, I'm still technically not wanted.  Not me specifically - the family does actually like me as a person.  But as V's wife, not so much.  And that smack in the face didn't feel good.  I'm better now.  I had my breakdown, my rant, and my sleep, and now life is going calmly enough.  I figured you all ought to know.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Anger

I'm so angry I can hardly get words out.  I should be waiting until I'm more coherent, if not rational, but I need to vent.  Venting to V doesn't really suffice, since I know she already knows and feels the same way.  And I've deleted three different passive-aggressive facebook statuses already.

The trip to V's family went really well.  Each one seems to go better and better.  But without fail, not too long after coming home, something will go sour.  Now it's the fact that I'm considering changing my name, and that our picture is going to be on a book (more on that later), and that obviously this is getting more and more serious.  And therefore harder to get out of, whenever we come to a proper understanding of Gheezus again.  Sorry.  Is my bitterness showing?

We're married.  There is a marriage certificate, signed/certified/notarized, with both of our names on it.  This means, among other things, that we don't plan on "coming to repentance" anytime soon, nor on leaving each other, nor on thinking your narrow-minded interpretation of the world has any impact whatsoever on my actions.  (That last part, directed at V's mother.)

I know I can't expect them to throw up their hands in surrender.  But I had a faint home that us getting married would trigger some sort of "Well, guess they mean it" response.  Instead, almost a year later, there's still wailing and gnashing of teeth that we're still more committed.  Newsflash: remember the "death do us part" thing in the vows?  (...though I'm not sure we had that in there...)  Yeah.  It's true.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Recovery

V and I seem to be doing better, after she lounged all yesterday morning, and I took a nap after work.  Of course, now Lilly has a cold, which comes with throwing up, since the gunk in her throat triggers coughing, etc, etc.  Oh well.  It's February; it's what happens.

Their mom and I have been emailing about preschool in the fall, and I think she's picked a school.  I'm so excited for them!  I can't wait seven months.  And thankfully, I'll still be around lots, and I'll even be the one taking them to school.  I never want to lose my kids.

(Though at some point I do want one/some that's really "my" kid...)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stretch

I'm exhausted.  We didn't get in until after 1 last night, not asleep until after 2, and the cat jumped on us every hour, wanting to play.  I feel terrible; Patrick and Lilly keep asking me to play with them, and I keep putting them off.  They're both being really good so far, though, for which I'm very grateful.

I haven't been to a yoga class in a week and a half.  Strange, but after only going to a few, my body had already gotten used to it.  I miss it.  I miss the stretching, the relaxation, the release of everything that isn't whatever I'm doing in that moment.  There's a class at 5:30 tonight, but I don't think I'm up for it yet.  I'm so sad.

All I want to do is go home and curl up.  Two and a half more hours.  And I have to get gas on the way home.  And it's snowing.  And I'm whiny.  And tired.

Be back later, in a better mood!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gone

Sorry for the quiet around here.  We'd been looking forward to a weekend of recovery from a long and stressful week, but were woken yesterday morning with the news that V's grandmother would likely pass away in the near future.  We both babysat last night (I at the twins, V for a now 17-month and adorable Paisley), V didn't get home until 1:30, and her phone rang at 9 this morning with the news that her grandmother was gone.

So, we're now settled at her parents' house for the next two days.  And they will be rough.  I'll reemerge sometime soon; we'll get back home on Tuesday evening.  Now I'm going to exhaustedly crash.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Back when

V and I occasionally have conversations about the kids we watch now, and how different their lives are from when we were three and four.  Definitely more scheduling these days.  And a lot less TV - granted, there were fewer choices, but we pretty much watched what we wanted, for however long we wanted.

I got a song stuck in my head tonight that brought all this to the forefront of my mind.  In the class that the twins are in on Fridays, we sing a hello song: "Hello, Patrick, hello.  Hello, Patrick, hello.  Hello, Patrick, hello.  We're glad you're here today."  Repeat around the circle.

Now when I was little, Barney taught me the way to remember everyone's name.
Everyone: "Megan stole the cookies from the cookie jar!"
Megan: "Who me?"
Everyone: "Yes you!"
Megan: "Couldn't be!"
Everyone: "Then who?"
Megan then would call out a different kid's name, and it would start all over.
"Bryan stole the cookies..."

Somehow, I don't think this would really fly in preschools anymore.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rest

This week has been insanely stressful.  My brain, which likes to consider itself fully prepared for anything at any time, has been on overload for what to do if Lilly or I suddenly start throwing up, or if Patrick does again.  He did today, twice; he's back to his normal self except for any sort of food or liquid.

Today I went from him losing his breakfast to watching Bug and Andrew from 3:30 (well, 5, when I woke them up) till now.  They're both in bed, though I can hear Bug playing.  Only two more days.  Of course, this weekend I'm sitting for the twins on Saturday and Bug and Andrew on Sunday, but... I'm just telling myself two more days.  At least on the weekend I can sleep in.