Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dodged a Case of Baby Fever

I've been thinking a lot about babies lately

One of my best friends - I have three - just had a baby. The four of us were sitting around the table the other day, purportedly to enjoy each other's company, but also because new baby snuggles are different than older baby snuggles and must be had before the baby is no longer new. Another friend who's said for years she doesn't want to have kids told us how she was going to have surgery, in large part to save her fertility. After seeing her peers have kids, she's still not sure she wants to have any of her own, but she wants to keep her options open. The fourth of our group has recently decided that while she used to think she wanted kids, she definitely does not anymore.

My work BFF is expecting her first child the same week as her first wedding anniversary. She's doing well, but also dealing with all the weirdness of a first pregnancy. It is so strange to temporarily share your body with another person. It's absolutely awful, except hormones sometimes trick you into thinking otherwise, and, even more importantly, there's the knowledge of the end result, which is pretty much the greatest thing in the world. Still, I mostly didn't love pregnancy, just the associated motherhood it implied.

We recently made a trip back to my parent's house for the weekend, originally to be at my my cousin's 7-month-old son's baptism, but it also happened to be at the end of another cousin's visit with her 2 1/2-month-old daughter. I definitely played with some babies. A third cousin is expecting her second child the same time as my coworker.

On a sadder note, one of my husband's cousins recently had her third 2nd trimester miscarriage and the delivery of this poor baby posed a lot of potential complications. Mostly babies are a wonderful happy thing, but every once in awhile something tragic happens and reminds you that it isn't always automatic.

I've been on the fence about having more children. Basically I think I want them at some point, but I don't want to be pregnant again, and then I feel selfish for not wanting to be pregnant again, and then I point out that plenty of kids are looking for good homes, so maybe we could adopt and then I wouldn't feel guilty for not wanting to give up control of my body for another 9 months (really 21, since I'd plan to breastfeed for a year after, and really more like 42, since we'd really like to have 4), but adoption is such a long expensive process, so maybe we could be foster parents and see if an adoption comes from that, although that's also difficult, and on and on ....

And then I think about Kyle's cousin and the losses she's faced and I think all of this debating whether or not to have more kids because I don't want to be pregnant again sounds really silly. Some people don't get the option to have more, or any, for that matter. Some people don't get to have control over the size of their family.

Actually, a lot of the details we stress about when thinking about having kids or thinking about how to raise them sound silly. Breast feeding/formula feeding, co-sleeping/crib sleeping, cloth diapers/disposable diapers, - these are not the issues to get worked up about. Are you feeding your child? Great. Does he have a place to sleep? Terrific. Do you change his diapers when they're dirty? Wonderful. Do you hold her when she cries? Then I think you're giving her all she needs to thrive.

One of the miracles of babies I can't get over is how different they all are and yet how perfect they all are at the same time. Each one needs something just a little bit different to be happy and as parents we get the opportunity to try to figure those differences out, and it's an amazing gift.

For now, my two amazing gifts feel like enough. If that ever changes, maybe we'll try to add another to the mix, but for now I am content. I am humbled. I am honored that I get to figure out what makes my two little people unique and how to best bring out their special gifts.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Rare Day At Home With My Favorite Little People

My daycare provider needed to take a personal day the other day, so I got a rare chance to stay home with my kids during the week. Instead of trying to get everything done like I normally do on the weekends, I tried to focus on having a good time with them. I have some minor surgery scheduled soon that will keep me a little out of the game for at least a week, so I also had that incentive to log some quality time with them while I could.

As you might expect, managing the needs of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old all day is a challenge. Here's a rundown:

My original plan: Do our usual morning breakfast routine and instead of piling in the car to go to the babysitter's at 8, put Gir in the stroller and walk to the park.

What actually happened: Around 9, Zim still wasn't done with breakfast and freaked out when I told him it was time to get his shoes on and go to the park, despite the fact that, up until that point, he was begging me to take him to the park. When I finally did get him outside, he still didn't want to go to the park, he wanted to ride his new tricycle that he doesn't really understand how to peddle and steer simultaneously. He unsuccessfully tried to convince me that he'd be able to ride it to the park. On the way there, he tried to go a different (much longer) way. He couldn't understand why we had to go to the park. Couldn't we just go on a walk? Who wants slides anyway?

My original plan: At the park, I assumed Zim would amuse himself on the slides most of the time and maybe join me and his sister on the swings for a little bit, but then get scared and go back to the slides. No matter what, an epic meltdown would happen when I told him it was time to go.

What actually happened: Zim spent most of his time in the sand. Gir wanted me to help her walk all over the park. The epic meltdown was stopped in it's tracks by the big water bottle I brought for he and I to drink out of. Every 5 feet only the path out of the park he asked me for more water.

My original plan: After returning from the park, Gir would be ready for her nap. Zim and I could cuddle on the couch and watch a movie, probably Thomas-related. After that, a snack.

What actually happened: Both children demanded snacks immediately (I probably should have seen this coming). Gir could not understand why she should be sleeping, but was out quickly. Zim wanted to cuddle, but wanted to use my tablet, not the "big TV", so I fell asleep for an unprecedented 2 hours.

My original plan: Lunch at noon. Nap at 1.

What actually happened: Lunch at 1:30. Naps at 2:30. During naptime I wanted to make them Rice Krispy treats to make up for burning their grilled cheese sandwiches at lunch, but Zim kept  leaving his room. I told him I was trying to make a surprise for him and so he had to stay in his room or it would ruin the surprise. 3-year-olds really don't understand how surprises work.

My original plan: After naps and afternoon snacks, let Zim play with his tricycle on the driveway.

What actually happened: The tricycle had been forgotten and all he wanted was his water table set up in the front yard. I needed to water flowers anyway and discovered that as I filled the water table, Zim scooped up water with a cup and poured it on my flowers for me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Young Dumb Toddlers

Ugh, mommy guilt has been striking hard lately.

Our new daycare person is a little tightly wound and sometimes a little too rules focused, so her suggestions and instructions to me often come off unintentionally judgmental. I know she doesn't really mean it that way. When we actually have time to talk, we're fine, but in the rush that generally accompanies drop off and pick off, things come off a little sharp.

Then this weekend in two hours Gir managed to hurt herself twice because I was distracted by Zim's epic 3-year-old meltdowns. The first time she fell half way down the steps before I caught her. The second time, she slipped in the bathtub and got a bloody nose.

... Or maybe this is just proof that even though she's not really walking much yet, Gir is definitely a dumb young toddler, drunk on the power of being newly upright. She may be super cautious about walking, but she's not cautious about where she chooses to stand and wiggle.

It reminds me of the month when Zim had a perpetual bruise in the middle of his forehead because he kept running into things because he was so excited he could run, but didn't know enough to look at what he was running toward.

Maybe it's good she isn't walking yet. Now I just have to watch her on unstable surfaces. All to soon she'll be moving and making poor choices.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Having kids has given me a level of panic I've never experienced before, and sometimes I struggle to keep it in check.

That's why I haven't posted in awhile. I'm dealing with a lot of anxiety, that I think stems from a lot of discontentment. And shame, because, how could I be discontent?

I have the perfect job. I love what I do and I love the people I do it with. They could not be smarter or nicer, or more understanding of the demands on a working mom's time.

My children are ridiculously adorable and relatively healthy. Zim says or does something hilarious several times a day. Gir is excitedly figuring out how to keep up with her big brother. Even when she gets so frustrated at crawling backwards instead of forwards, it's so freaking cute.

My husband and I are in a good place despite the demands of both working full-time and raising two small children.

Yet, I feel crazy stressed. I feel like there's a never-ending list of things to worry about and that just as I get a handle on things another worry pops up that tumbles the whole house of cards. I'm so busy balancing everyone else's needs that I never get around to worrying about my own.

This morning I was supposed to get an allergy shot. It's a regular weekly appointment for me, but so often, it gets skipped because I get distracted cleaning the house, making sure children's clothes are put away, Gir's bottles are washed, socks of various sizes are picked up. When I looked up from picking things up and realized I wasn't ready to go yet and there wasn't time to fit my shot appointment in, I was so frustrated.

But then I got over it, and decided to do something else to take care of myself instead.

I actually sat down at the table to eat my breakfast, instead of hurriedly inhaling it while driving somewhere. I made more breakfasts for myself so I'd have some ready for the rest of the week. I took the time to make sure my clothes matched, put on the minimal makeup that I strive to put on every morning, but often miss. I picked out a necklace to wear. I made my bed. I picked up the parts of the house that make me feel calm, not the ones that would keep other members of my family happy. And then, when it was time to leave the house for work, I left. I didn't find just one more thing to tidy up, I walked out the door, and for once, didn't feel rushed and panicked that I'd forgotten something.

All small seemingly insignificant things, but for once I left the house feeling put together and mostly calm. Sure, there's still a million things unfinished in my life right now (the clothes I abandoned in the washer, the car repairs that need to take place over the next few weeks that will be paid for with funds from an, as yet, undetermined source), but I made the conscious choice to take care of myself a little. To put something back in the tank, instead of constantly drawing on it until it's so empty that I have nothing left to give the people in my life I care so much about and would give anything for.