Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Recap

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Seriously consider divorce.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any new year's resolutions for 2013 and don't intend to make any for next year.  I've come to believe that, for me, all resolutions do is set me up to fail.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes.  My friend MH was murdered (I blogged about that here), and my ex-fiance died in April at age 36.
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
I need to exercise more so I can have more energy and better health
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 31--day my friend MH died; September 16--day I started my new job
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I changed jobs.  I'm not sure everyone would consider taking a nearly 20% pay cut an "achievement," but I'm counting it as one.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm not sure.  I feel like I am failing at *something* nearly every day. . . .
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I went through a two-month period this summer of almost-daily headaches that was just miserable, but otherwise, just the usual ailments and aches and pains.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
We bought a 2014 Honda Odyssey over the weekend.  It was our biggest purchase, and I'm hoping it will be our best.
12. Where did most of your money go?
To our nanny.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Getting out of my old private practice job in which I was miserable.
14. What song will always remind you of 2013?
What Does the Fox Say. 
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? about the same
– thinner or fatter?  about the same
– richer or poorer? about the same
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spent time with my sons and friends.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
18. How did you spend Christmas?
At home with my family
19. What was your favorite TV program?
Tough to say, since I hardly watch any TV.  I do really like Property Brothers on HGTV when I get to watch it.
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Gone Girl, Ender's Game, The Fault in Our Stars, Wild, Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
I really like Lady Gaga.
22. What was your favorite film of the year?
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
On my actual birthday, I had dinner out with MM and the boys.  I also had an adult night out with MM and friends the following Saturday.  I turned 42.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A vacation.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Um, functional?
26. What kept you sane?
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
I cannot do it all.  I shouldn't even try.

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Favorite Things -- Toddler Version

Building with blocks and then climbing the kitchen chairs
Bounce houses, big slides and throwing books everywhere
Taking the stacking toy and removing all the rings.
These are a few of my favorite things.

Watching big trucks and our show Paw Patrol
Eating mac and cheese and then throwing the bowl.
Screaming or laughing at Mom when she sings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Mom's pots and pans and her storage containers
Swing sets and play dough and toy cars called 'Mater
Cute cartoon owls that hoot, spreading their wings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Running and climbing and jumping on the bed
Putting cups, bowls and hats on top of my head
Bouncing up and down like my feet and legs have springs
These are a few of my favorite things.

When I don't get my way, when it's nap time,
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad.

Monday, December 9, 2013


[WARNING:  If you are still in the trenches, you may want to skip this post.  Heavy on children, parenting, and observations about same.]

This weekend was a challenging one.  In addition to having to take the boys in for haircuts on Saturday morning--something which we do only every four months or so, because AJ cries from start to finish--the boys decided Saturday afternoon that they would no longer stay in their cribs to sleep.  MJ has been capable of climbing out of his crib for a few weeks but would only climb out if put in his crib for confinement during times other than nap or nighttime (example: MM will sometimes put MJ in his crib briefly while changing AJ's diaper).  Previously AJ has not been capable of climbing out of his crib, which is a little higher off the ground than his brother's, but he figured it out Saturday with his brother's assistance.

The novelty of freedom led to a later-than-usual and greatly abbreviated nap on Saturday, no nap on Sunday and falling asleep over two hours later than usual on Saturday night.  Last night the boys feel asleep almost immediately after being put to bed (on their mattresses on the floor--interim plan until their toddler beds arrive later this week). . . only to awake about an hour-and-a-half later with MJ screaming and crying inconsolably with what appeared to be an episode of night terrors.  It took over 40 minutes to get him calmed down and another 30+ minutes to get him back to bed.  Poor AJ was awakened by his brother's screaming and crying and had to be soothed back to sleep as well.

Needless to say, all this sleep disruption also led to more moodiness than usual (plus AJ is finally getting more teeth--poor guy has been stuck at four teeth since 15 months), although not quite as much of a decrease in energy as you might think.  They also didn't eat as well as usual.

In addition to not sleeping on Sunday afternoon, the boys used their naptime to figure out how to get into their closet.  (Prior to Sunday, they had been unable to open the fairly heavy sliding doors.)  While I was out running errands, apparently they managed to remove every single shirt from the rod and from its hanger, empty out almost every drawer of their dresser and take all the shoes and puzzles out before Dad realized what they were doing.  The silence didn't make him suspicious because he thought they were sleeping.  (Ha!)

So instead of spending my weekend putting up our Christmas tree, doing some holiday baking and cleaning house in preparation for my parents' upcoming visit, I spent my weekend wrangling twin toddlers, trying to persuade them to sleep, walking them around the neighborhood in their stroller when those attempts at persuasion failed, and taking them to the park (for the second time) in a vain attempt to make them tired enough to fall asleep.

At the same time that these changes are frustrating and a bit stressful for us, they are also signs of growth and development for our sons.  MJ and AJ were so proud of themselves for being able to "escape" their cribs, and it was actually pretty cute to hear them giggling together as they gleefully jumped on their crib mattresses on the floor on Saturday night. . . even though this was going on at 9:30 p.m., long after they should have been asleep.

AJ is talking more, and as a result, I am worrying less about his speech development.  They are both becoming more agile all the time and continually surprise us with the things they are able to do.  They are challenging but fun, too.

Friday, December 6, 2013


After over a month of not writing here, I feel like I have a lot to say and not a lot to say at the same time.  Life is busy and full, as usual.  The boys are doing well and are their usual busy, happy selves.  The things they do and say really crack me up sometimes.  A few examples. . .
  • MJ has started saying "I see, I see" when he sees something in a book or in his environment.  He then waits for you to ask "What do you see?" before telling you what it is.
  • AJ climbs like a monkey.  He prefers to climb UP slides, rather than sliding down them (and when he does slide down a slide, he does so on his belly rather than on his bottom).  One evening this week, I moved their rocking horse onto the kitchen table in an attempt to keep AJ from using it to climb up onto the TV stand (yes, they now do this regularly).  The result was that AJ used his high chair to climb onto the kitchen table and rode the rocking horse on top of the table--yikes!
  • MJ lets you know very definitely when he wants to go outside and play.  He says, and signs, "shoes" when he wants to leave the house, and if he wants to go to the park he says "whee!" which is his word for the swings.
  • AJ loves to build with blocks and is very meticulous.  If his tower is not constructed to his satisfaction, he will disassemble it and restart it a few times and eventually just knock it all down.
New job is good.  Nice people, less stress.  I have had a nagging cold for two weeks that I cannot seem to shake, so that's been a bummer; I actually had laryngitis for a while and mostly lost my voice for a few days around Thanksgiving.

Our holiday was good.  My MIL made (most of) the meal, and the boys ate some Thanksgiving fare for the first time.  My father and stepmother are coming a week from today to celebrate Christmas early with us.

Lately I have vacillated between feeling grateful for my life and feeling like I need a week or a month off to just hibernate by myself somewhere.  Both feelings are valid.  I think the latter feeling stems from this virus that won't go away more than anything else; I am just so tired all the time, even after a good, full night's sleep.

This weekend I am going to put up our Christmas tree, minus the breakable ornaments, and may even attempt some simple holiday baking with the boys.  TGIF!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Just living life

This past weekend I
  • went out to dinner and to a play with a friend on Friday night after work 
  • took the boys to their usual Saturday morning session at The Lit.tle Gym
  • made a dent in sorting through my "denial piles" of paper clutter (some of which have been accumulating since I cleared out our former home office and then went on bed rest before the boys were born)
  • had dinner out with MM and friends without our kids!
  • took the boys and the dog to the park Sunday morning (we had beautiful weather this weekend; fall is a great time in Phoenix)
  • Furminated and brushed Hunter, removing enough hair to knit a small afghan
  • saw my inlaws
  • had lunch out with MM while the boys napped (courtesy of my inlaws' babysitting)
  • bought groceries, did the usual minimal household chores and meal prep, as well as seven loads of laundry (including folding and putting away)

All of the above in addition to the usual weekend agenda of playing with my sons and keeping them safe and happy. When I write it all out, it sounds like a lot!

Things generally are going well. The new job is working out: people are nice, and so far I have a lot less stress. Most importantly, I have my weekends back!  I'm also able to take a rapid transit commuter bus from a nearby park-and-ride to my building most days at no cost (paid by my employer as part of a pollution reduction plan), which is a nice way to save money and reduce the stress of commuting. I've been able to read five books on the ride to and from work so far. 

The paycut has been a bit of a struggle, but I knew it would be. I have cut back on some things and am challenging myself to find more places to save money. Things will ease a little in March when MM pays off his car and even more when I finish my first year on the job because I'll receive an automatic 5% pay increase and qualify for student loan repayment assistance that will amount to an additional $325 or so per month.  Until then, we just have to do without some non-necessities.

The boys are doing wonderfully well!  MJ is very chatty and probably has over 75-80 words now. He is like a parrot and will repeat most new words he hears.  AJ is starting to talk more, though still much less than his brother. He is very interested in puzzles and building things.  They are both very fun and happy most of the time, though we are definitely starting to see some toddler frustration and independence emerging.

Friday, October 18, 2013

PAIL Bloggers October 2013 Monthly Theme Post

[This post is part of the PAIL Bloggers October Monthly Theme.  You can find other posts on this month's topic here.]

I think I must be in the minority in feeling this way. . . but I always viewed pregnancy and childbirth as very much means to an end and not as things I felt a strong desire to undergo for themselves. I do understand that many women have an idea in their minds of how they want their birth experience to go, and that many mothers create a birth plan with the intention of realizing these hopes.  But I had no investment in any particular plan except whatever would result in all of us being alive and well at the end.

Even before I was pregnant with my sons, I felt that so long as my pregnancy and birth experience ended with both my baby (or babies) and me healthy and alive, I would deem them a success and be happy about how they went.  Once I knew I was having twins and was at a higher risk of complications with both, I felt this even more so.

So because I felt this way about pregnancy and childbirth, having a certain type of birth experience was never very important to me.  In light of how each of these experiences went for me, I believe the fact that I had this mindset was probably a good thing because both my pregnancy and my delivery were far from what most women would wish for as the ideal of these experiences.

I knew from about 26 weeks on that I would likely be having a C-section.  Twin A (AJ) was in a frank breech position at that point and unlikely to turn (as he was running out of space to do so).  And even before that point in my pregnancy, I had a strong suspicion that a C-section was a real possibility, given the fact that I was having twins, had gestational diabetes, and was over age 40 (all risk factors for C-section).

So the only real question in my mind for most of my pregnancy, and certainly from 26 weeks on, was not "how" I would give birth but "when."  My OB told me she would not allow me to go past 38 weeks, but I also got the feeling from her that she never thought I'd make it that far (and I didn't).

  • What type of birth did you have?
I gave birth to my sons via urgent C-section at 34 weeks, 1 day.  Essentially, my doctor came into my room just before 7:00 p.m. and told me that I'd be delivering that night because my lab results that day indicated that my preeclampsia had worsened and was now at the "severe" level.  Before 10:00 that night, my sons had been delivered.  (I wrote about my sons' birth story here.)

  • How did the birth experience of your child affect your parenting of this child? 
Although it was far from ideal in a number of ways--not the least of which is that I was heavily medicated, critically ill and barely saw my sons for the first 48 hours of their lives--I honestly don't think that my birth experience has had any effect on the way I have parented my sons.  Being pregnant with twins and having had pregnancy complications, and with my background as a nurse, I was always well aware that premature birth was a possibility.  We have been very fortunate that our sons have been very minimally affected by their early arrival.  At this point, apart from being a little more on the alert for delays than I think I might otherwise have been, I think I interact with them just as I would have done had they been born via a natural, full-term vaginal delivery.

I also don't think that my birth experience affected our future plans with regard to having more children.  We were done at two regardless, based on other considerations.

  • Have you felt “judged” about your birth(adoption) experience, and has that affected your parenting or future plans?
There have only been a few times I have begun to feel judged about my birth experience. . . but letting people know that you developed a life-threatening condition that left your doctor with no choice but to deliver your sons early and that you had to have a C-section because one of your twins was in a frank breech position usually puts an end to any possible judgment.  (I've felt more judgment from other moms for not breast feeding than about my birth experience, but that's a topic for another post.)

  • What sticks out in your birth/adoption experience that you still carry with you?
I remember that I didn't hear our first son, AJ, cry as I could feel him being pulled out, and that concerned me.  I remember asking MM to go and check on him and telling him to make sure he took pictures (he did).

I *did* hear MJ cry, loudly.  I remember one of the nurses bringing MJ over for me to see first, and that his eyes were wide open, looking around at everything (just like my MIL told me his father's were when he was born).  I remember being further concerned about AJ at that point and wondering why he hadn't been brought to me first when he had been delivered first.

By the time a nurse brought AJ over for me to meet, the narcotics and other drugs I had been given had started to take full effect, and I felt very drowsy and disconnected.  I do remember that his eyes were squeezed tightly shut, in contrast to his brother's wide open ones; he looked very tired.

I remember two different nurse practitioners from the NICU coming over and telling me that neither of my sons needed to go to the NICU.  (There was a NICU team present for each boy at their delivery, just in case.)  I was both surprised and relieved to hear that.

After that, I just have bits and pieces of memory over the next several hours.  I recall seeing the boys in their warmer beside me in the recovery room. . . talking briefly to my father to let him know they had been born. . . lots and lots of uterine massage by my nurse and eventually even more intervention "down there" by my OB (which is, blessedly, very hazy, thanks to the narcotics).  I know that I had a lot of bleeding because I remember seeing some of the pads with my blood and hearing the doctor and nurses talking to each other and to my husband.  I remember throwing up and afterwards feeling very, very thirsty.  I remember the boys being taken off to the nursery at some point.  I remember eventually being taken to a regular private room.

All in all, I really don't think much about my birth experience. . . primarily because my memories are not entirely positive.  I mean, obviously the arrival of our sons brought us great joy, but I have never been so ill in my life, and that in and of itself was very scary.

At first, I felt a little sad about the fact that I don't really have positive feelings overall about what really should be a joyful experience.  But putting things in perspective. . . my sons' birth was really just one day in what will be a lifetime of being their mother.  So we got off to a bit of a rocky start.  They are here, and so am I, and we are all happy and healthy.  That's what really matters.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

You Don't Forget

I have written here often about the fact that I spend little-to-no time thinking about my lack of fertility now that I have my sons. There have been times I have even pondered whether I am truly "infertile," given my lack of a definitive diagnosis, my "advanced age" at the time we started trying, and my ability to conceive naturally on two occasions (though those pregnancies did not progress).

An online friend (not a part of the ALI community) married last year at 39 and hoped, as many of us do, to start a family with her husband. Her first hurdle was being diagnosed with cervical cancer shortly before her wedding. After (thankfully) getting the all clear on that front, she experienced an ectopic pregnancy recently that ruptured, resulting in the loss of one of her tubes.

Through the surgery and follow-up for her cancer, she has also learned that she has a large uterine fibroid that it would be very risky to remove but will make a successful pregnancy nearly impossible.  After seeing what she went through with ruptured ectopic pregnancy, her husband doesn't think she should even attempt the surgery. Or if she does, attempt the necessarily risky (to mom and baby) pregnancy that would follow it.

My friend posted on her blog this morning about how she is not OK and about her feelings about likely never being pregnant or having a child who is a combination of her and her husband. Reading her post reminded me of my own feelings of grief when I realized I would never have a child who shared my genes and MM's genes.

I adore my sons and the unique individuals they are. Now that they are in my life, I wouldn't trade them for my own genetic child. But I won't deny that, before they were here, having a child naturally, who would have been genetically related to both me and to my husband, would have been my preferred option.

I have confidence that my friend and her husband will mourn their (very real and deep) loss and probably come to parenthood in some other way. I do believe that most people who want to become parents do, if they are open to multiple paths to that destination.

Reading her words and being reminded of my own feelings as I progressed along my own long and increasingly circuitous route to eventuall motherhood by a path I'd never thought of walking brought up emotions today I hadn't felt in a long time.

You never really forget.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Curiosity killed the cat

I am an Internet stalker of the first order. I admit it. Ever since I first discovered google over ten years ago, I have done searches for numerous ex-boyfriends, long-lost friends, former classmates and others. I even use google to search my clients' backgrounds, and those of the people who sue them.

Given this fact, it's probably not surprising that since I first learned our donor's first name over two years ago, I have occasionally searched for her online. Not because I have any intention of ever contacting her, but because I'm just nosy as hell, frankly.

Today, for the first time, my searching bore fruit.  I stumbled across a website that revealed a lot of personal information about our donor, complete with photos of her that left me with no doubt that I have the right person. Information so complete and detailed that I think she'd feel weirded out if she knew I had it.

I guess that's what I get for snooping around.

Friday, September 20, 2013

PAIL Bloggers September 2013 Monthly Theme – Why We Blog

This post is part of PAIL Bloggers' monthly theme post for September.  You can find the other posts for this month's theme here.

Did you start blogging before, during, or after your journey though infertility?
I started blogging here at the very beginning of our journey through infertility, back in March 2009, when it started to become clear to me that natural conception was not going to happen for us. (Prior to that time, I had written on another blog for a couple of years.  That blog was mostly just about my daily life and my struggles with my weight.)

Back in those early days of the blog, I naively thought that we would probably "just need a little help" to get pregnant. Wow, how wrong I was, and what a long way we have come since then.

Why did you start blogging? What has kept you blogging?
I originally started blogging as an outlet for the thoughts and feelings I had about the challenges of infertility that I had a hard time expressing to people in real life. I was/am very fortunate to have great friends and family to whom I could talk about most of these things. . . but I couldn't talk about them to the degree and extent that I needed to in order to really process them and work through them and still maintain my sanity.

Also, I had stumbled across some other infertility blogs and found them both informative and inspiring. I wanted to connect with other women in positions similar to my own.

When you became a parent did you transition your blog or start a new space? What were your reasons for doing so? How do you feel about your decision now?
I considered shutting down this blog and starting a new one when I got pregnant with my twins. However, I had made so many connections through this blog, and it was such a chronicle of all I had been through to get to that point, that I ended up just continuing to write here.

Now, over two years since becoming pregnant with my sons, I feel OK about this decision.  At least those who have been reading my story since the beginning can still easily find me and continue to follow my story, if they so desire.

Have you ever felt pressure to blog about certain things and not others? What influences your writing, if anything?
I will say that I have always been mindful of the fact that at least some of the people reading may still be "in the trenches," that is, still TTC. Keeping that thought in the back of my mind has sometimes held me back from writing honestly about some of my thoughts about the stresses and challenges of parenthood and sometimes about other things.

My writing is more influenced by what is going on in my life and in my mind than by anything else.

What did you hope to achieve by blogging? Do you feel that you have done this?
Mainly I hoped to use blogging as a form of therapy, in a way. . . to have a place to vent and share my thoughts and feelings, and to preserve my sanity. It has definitely served those purposes for me. It has also been a great way to connect with other women going through similar situations.

Why is blogging important to you NOW?
I would say that, to the extent that I blog at all now, it is more about trying to keep that connection I have formed with the other women I have met along the way than it is having a place to vent. . . simply because I am less in need of that type of space these days (though I still use the blog for that purpose on occasion). I do still want to preserve the connections I've made with the women I met during the years I was going through my struggles with infertility.

What value do you see in blogging the "after"?
I think that the experience of parenthood after infertility/loss can be quite different than it is for those women who simply conceived naturally and easily. So to the extent that sharing my experience on this blog offers an example of that "after" for others, I think there is value in that.

Also, although this isn't exactly relevant to continuing to write here, I do think that my archives might also be of value to a reader who finds herself in a similar position to mine, since I wrote about my experiences in deciding upon, and pursuing, treatment through donor egg IVF in detail as I was going through it, as well as my twin pregnancy. That is one of the reasons I never shut down or deleted the blog after I got pregnant.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Job

I got one.  I start September 16, and September 13 will be my last day at my current job.

Never thought I would see the day when I would be happy to take a 25% pay CUT, but here it is.

In my new job, I will be doing much the same work I am doing now, with some key differences.  I will no longer be paid by insurance companies.  I will no longer have a billable hours requirement.  And I will have holidays off, paid vacation, and paid sick leave again.  I will also have some other nice benefits, like student loan repayment assistance and a state retirement plan that my employer actually contributes to.  (My current employer offers a 401k plan but contributes exactly $0 to it on my behalf.)

I will also be working only blocks from MM, which means we will be able to meet for lunch occasionally.  Yes, it will probably be brown bag lunch, due to decrease in my salary.  But hey.  Life is full of trade-offs.

I will take my sanity and more time with my sons in exchange for less money.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sleep question for the moms

In the past couple of weeks, AJ has gone from being our excellent sleeper to being our challenge.  Historically, AJ has always needed a little more sleep than MJ.  From the time they came home from the hospital, he would sleep a little longer at naptime than MJ and wouldn't wake in the mornings after MJ (usually being awakened by MJ, or by us because MJ had been up for a while).

Starting about two weeks ago, AJ has been waking up first. . . and early!  He has gone from sleeping until 6:15-6:45 or so to waking between 5:15-5:30 most mornings.  This change in wake-up time has come without any change in bedtime or change in nap duration, and I'm not quite sure what is causing it.

Now AJ is up before MJ every day, and unlike MJ, AJ is not content to babble contentedly in his crib for a little while when he wakes up before someone comes to get him up.  No, AJ wakes up crying and insisting to be taken out of the crib THIS INSTANT.  This means that someone--OK, *I*--have to get up at 5:15, or whatever ungodly hour he has awakened, and get him up.  And because MJ is a light sleeper, I also have to get him up, too, because invariably AJ's crying wakes MJ up, no matter how quickly I go in to snatch AJ out of his crib.

I'm not sure if this is our "new normal" or a phase or if there is something that can be done to change this pattern.  I know that AJ is probably due to get some more teeth--at 19 months, he still only has four teeth, though several more are visible right under the gums--so maybe teething pain is a factor in these early wakings.  Additionally, he has had a ravenous appetite lately.  The amount he is eating has increased 50-75% from his usual amounts over the past few days; some days, he eats almost as much as I do. . . and that's saying something, considering that he weighs under 23 lbs to my (ahem) 200-ish lbs.

This morning AJ woke at 4:00 a.m. (GAH!), and fortunately I was able to quickly retrieve him from his crib before he woke his brother.  He slept in the guest room bed with me for a little more than an hour more (we generally don't co-sleep, but desperate times call for desperate measures), until he awoke at 5:10 signing and asking for "cracker."  (Dude has a serious graham cracker addiction lately; he eats several a day on top of his usual meals and snacks.)

I tried to put him off by telling him it was too early.  His response was to slide down off the bed and toddle out to the kitchen on his own.  

Fellow moms, any thoughts on what may have caused this change in AJ's sleep habits and what we can do to get him to sleep a little later?  I'd like him to sleep in not only so that I can get a bit more sleep--I'm usually up at 5:30 anyway--but also because he seems pretty tired all morning these days when he gets up this early, so I'm concerned that he isn't getting enough rest.  Plus I feel bad for MJ for getting woken up every morning.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yeah, OK

I only have time for a very quick post, as I am at work on a Sunday and want to get out of here as quickly as possible and home to my boys.  (In case you were wondering why I am busily searching for another job. . . .)

I just wanted to say that I very much appreciate all of you who took the time to read, and comment on, my last post.  I think your points were very well taken.  Yes, guilt does seem to be an inherent part of motherhood, and yes, some of the questions asked may, in fact, be unanswerable.

I went over the questionnaire with MM, and he wasn't sure how to answer some of the questions either.  He made the observation that some of the questions seemed to be geared toward older children (like questions about whether others can understand our child's pronunciation) and guessed that they are not specifically aimed at AJ's age group.  Which makes sense, given that most parents (1) might not notice a speech delay until their child is a bit older and (2) might wait to have their child evaluated even if they noticed a delay.  Being able to say only 3-4 words at 18 months is probably not seen as a big problem by a lot of people.  (Just from firsthand experience, I know at least three friends whose children reached their 2nd birthdays saying as few words as AJ does now, and they waited until after that age before they even mentioned it to their respective pediatricians.)

So maybe I am not an awful mother.  I am probably being too hard on myself.  I appreciate your offering me your perspectives.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Awful mother


I have felt for a few months that AJ's speech is not where it should be.  He has been saying the same three words ("Mama," "Dada", and "Mum-Mum") since around 14 or 15 months, and unlike MJ--who has had an explosion of speech over the past couple of months and now says at least twenty words and parrots many of the things we say to him--he has not added any new words to his vocabulary.  So I have been planning for a while to bring this up with his pediatrician at his 18-month well-check which, because of scheduling, was today, even though the boys are now nearly 19 months old.

Our pediatrician agreed that it sounds like AJ has an expressive speech delay and that it makes sense to have him evaluated by a speech and language pathologist.  I made an appointment for him this morning and then proceeded to begin filling out a lengthy questionnaire that needs to be completed in advance of his appointment.

This process is when I began to feel like an awful mother.  Because I realized I didn't know the answers to questions like. . .

What does your child do when he needs help?  (I think he cries or whines. . . but is that always the case?)

What happens if you can't figure out what your child is asking for?  What does he do?

Does your child ever seem to be frustrated when communicating?

I realized that I could *guess* at the answers to these questions (and others), but that I did not feel confident that I truly *know* the answers to all the questions on this form.  And that realization made me feel sad.  How can I not know these things about my own child?

Is it because I don't spend enough time with him?  Or because I don't pay enough attention to him when I *am* with him?  Or because I don't notice the things he does or his attempts to communicate with me?

And these thoughts made me think that maybe part of the reason AJ doesn't talk the way he should at his age is because of things I should be doing for him, and with him, that I'm not doing.  It's a terrible feeling to think that I am in any way responsible for a problem or delay that one of my children has.  As their mother, I want to do everything I can to help AJ and MJ get the best possible start in life.

I feel like maybe part of the reason that AJ is struggling in this area is because I have been so caught up in my own struggles of just trying to get through each day that I haven't given him the attention and the interaction he needs.  And that makes me feel like an awful mother.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Latest

  • Things seem to be improving on the job search front.  I have had two interviews in the past week and have two more coming up in the next two weeks.  All are for jobs that I believe would be an improvement over my current position.  I'd appreciate any positive vibes, prayers and kind thoughts you can send my way.
  • I've mentioned here before that billable hours are the bane of my existence.  One of several things I dislike about my current job.  It seems that over half of the associate attorneys in my office are below target on their billable requirement at the halfway point for the year.  We found this out at a meeting Monday when we were all lectured about the need to work more and bill more hours so that the firm can make more money.  Good times.  Just one more reason I need to get a new job.
  • I thought my headaches were improving--they had gone from every day to only every other day or sometimes every third day and were generally less severe--but then I woke up today with a really bad migraine.  Fortunately I have now seen a neurologist and have new medications to try to stop this cycle.  Here's hoping they work.
  • As I put more effort and energy into my job search, I am feeling even more overwhelmed and stretched even thinner because filling out applications, going to interviews, filling out background checks, getting fingerprinted, etc., takes up a lot of time.  Time that I really don't have.  But I am telling myself that I just have to push through, that this is temporary and that this effort is going to pay off when I land a new position.
  • MM is doing what he can to be supportive.  He is not the greatest with the emotional support--thankfully, I have friends and a sister for that--but he is taking on more than his share of the boys' care and doing even more than usual around the house.  He wants me to get a new job almost as much as I want to.
  • I can hardly believe it's already August 1!
  • Blessedly, the boys are doing great.  Their growth and development is amazing, and I feel lucky to have two such happy little guys in my life.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Patron Saint of Lost Causes

My grandmother's personal favorite saint was St. Anthony, commonly regarded as the patron saint for finding lost objects.  Any time we misplaced something, she would advise us to ask St. Anthony for help.

As you probably gathered from my last post, I am desperate to find another job, and after six months of looking, it's starting to feel like a lost cause.  So I am posting this in the hope that it might help.

O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus -- People honor and invoke you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone. Please help to bring me visible and speedy assistance. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (state your request) and that I may praise God with you always. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you by publishing this request. Amen.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013




not balanced: as

a : not in equilibrium
b : mentally disordered or deranged

"Balance" is a concept you hear a lot of working mothers talk about.  It is something that I think most of us strive to achieve.

For quite some time, I have felt unbalanced, as in the first meaning of this word. . . not in equilibrium.  Feeling that I am devoting the majority of my time, energy and focus to something that is less important to me than it once was--work--while having less time to devote to many other things in my life that I used to enjoy.  Feeling overwhelmed.  Feeling that, although I have many of the things in my life I hoped to have, the life I am living is not the life I hoped to live.

For quite a while, I have felt caught in a trap of my own making, stuck, as though I have painted myself into a corner and cannot figure out a way out of it.  I know, intellectually, that there *is* a way out.  Were I counseling someone in my exact situation, I would certainly tell her that she could do many other things, that she is capable and qualified.  But I seem to lack the energy/confidence/gumption/something to find that path for myself.

The past few weeks, I have not only felt that I am not in equilibrium. . . I have also felt unbalanced in the sense of the second definition: mentally disordered.  Unstable.  Like I might, at any moment, break down, crack, under the pressure that is my daily life.

What pushed me over the edge, to a point where I could no longer handle the stress, was developing daily headaches, for reasons that are unclear even to my doctor.  I have had a headache at least some portion of every single day since waking up with a migraine the day after Father's Day.  Although I have suffered with migraines since age 15, I have never before lived through an episode like this.  Some of these headaches have been migraines; some of been tension headaches.  Some have been typical of the usual headaches I get; some have been different.

(Yes, I have seen my doctor, a few times.  I have also had a MRI of my brain, which was negative, assuring him that there is no serious, organic cause of the headaches.)

My sister made an analogy that I found apt.  She compared my management of my daily life to walking while balancing a very full glass of water.  If I walk carefully, I can do it without spilling a drop.  These daily headaches have been like someone came and poured some extra water into my glass.  Now the water is running down the sides of the glass, and I can no longer keep it from spilling out.

I know something has to give.  Something has to change.  I cannot go on living the way I've been living for the past year plus.  

Of the things in my life that are changeable, the things that occupy my time on a daily basis, there is only one that I would want to change: my job.  I think that making that one change would, eventually, make a huge difference to the whole, for a number of reasons.

There are a few obstacles to my making that change.  I have very little control over being able to find a new position at all; I have applied for many jobs in the past six months and had three interviews and still no new job.  Also, changing to a job that isn't just as stressful, time-consuming and unfulfilling as my current position will certainly mean a pay cut.  The only question is, how big a pay cut.

Since faking my own death seems a bit drastic (and I would miss my sons too much if I did it), I guess I am going to just have to keep plugging along and find a way to keep doing what I'm doing until I can get out of this daily grind that I am in.  I hope and pray that I find that way soon.

Friday, June 21, 2013

June 2013 PAIL Monthly Theme Post: Looking Back

(This post is part of PAIL Bloggers' Monthly Theme Post for June.  You can find other posts about this theme here.)

One advantage to having been a blogger for a few years is that I don't have to strain my brain to try and remember what I was doing this time last year, or two or three or four or more years ago.  I can simply look back at my blog(s) and figure it out.

This time last year, my sons were still pretty young: about five months old, three-and-a-half months adjusted age, since they were preemies.  I was back at work full time, and MM was home on FMLA leave with them, although he was preparing to go back to work as well.  Looking back at my blog, apparently my biggest challenges were back pain and my weight.  (These are still challenges.)

This time two years ago, I had just found out I was pregnant and did not yet know I was having twins.  (We had our suspicions, due to high beta numbers, but I didn't have my first ultrasound until early July.)

About three years ago, I wrote here about the crisis of confidence I was having in my life, brought on by infertility and uncertainty in the job I was in at the time.  I do remember that time as being a pretty low one for me.  That was during a time of "limbo" for us when we had recently found out that another treatment cycle had failed and we weren't sure what we were going to do next.

Four years ago, I was in the two week wait for what would turn out to be a failed treatment cycle.  That cycle was earlier on in our "journey," not long after we started intervention; it was only our second IUI with only Clomid and an hCG trigger.  Back in those days, I was still optimistic that we would just need "a little help" to get pregnant.  Ah, the naivete!  The optimism!

Five years ago at this time, MM and I were not yet married but were preparing to move in together.  We were house hunting in anticipation of buying a house together once he sold the house he owned and was living in at the time.

Six years ago at this time, I had relatively recently ended my engagement to my ex-fiance and accepted the job that brought me back to Phoenix. . . and indirectly led to my meeting MM.  )Actually, when I think about it, accepting that job offer indirectly led to almost everything in my current life: my husband, my children, my job.  Hmm.)

At that time, I do recall being pretty firmly convinced that I would likely never meet anyone else I wanted to marry while I was still young enough to have children.  Nonetheless, I had recently reconnected via the internet with a college ex-boyfriend I had always thought of as The One Who Got Away and was obsessing over that turn of events.  (I didn't know it at the time, but that situation would end up bringing me closure in a way that was wholly unanticipated.  A story that is complicated and completely deserving of another post of its own.  Suffice it to say: it was a very good thing we did not end up together.)

So in just six years' time, I have gone from a woman who was convinced she would never have a family to a married mother of two.  Life is funny.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Feeling down

  • I am feeling down and unmotivated to work today.  This is a bad state of affairs, especially when I am already behind on hours for the month due to having missed four half-days of work (equally two full days) due to doctor's appointments for my sons and my own migraines.  And this in a month in which billing all my required hours was already going to be difficult due to fact that there are only 20 workdays.  *sigh*
  • Factors contributing to my feeling down:
    • I had a migraine that lasted three days this week, and even this morning, I still woke up with a little residual pain, especially on the left side of my head and neck/shoulder.  I know that many migraine sufferers are plagued with headaches that last for days, but I (blessedly) am usually not.  In fact, I cannot recall another time when I have had a migraine that lasted more than 48 hours.  I exhausted all medicinal and non-medicinal remedies and still couldn't get rid of my headache.  It was awful.  Equally as bad as the pain and suffering was the fact that I couldn't figure out what caused this episode, or what caused it to continue.
    • Despite the fact that I began looking for another job in December 2012 and have interviewed for three jobs since that time, I am still working here, with no active applications anywhere at the moment.  It's been weeks since I've even seen anything I wanted to apply for.  I don't hate my field, but I am growing to really dislike my current position, and I really want to get out of it. . . but I am stuck, for a variety of reasons.  The primary reason is financial: our lifestyle is heavily dependent on the income I earn from this job.  Having said that, truth be told, even if I had a year's salary sitting in the bank that was earmarked for no other purpose, I likely would not quit this job, simply because doing so would not be a smart move for me professionally.  (We all know the conventional wisdom that it's easier to find a job when you already have one, and gaps on a resume can be hard to explain in an interview.)  Work is important to me, and I hate waking up each day dreading going in to the office.
    • MM has been talking for a while--ever since I was pregnant with the boys, actually--about wanting to move to a bigger house.  Long story, but now that the housing market has been improving in our area, he has begun doing some exploration in this regard.  This prompted me to email our mortgage broker yesterday, and what we found out from him was depressing.  In short, even if we could sell our house today, we could not buy another house of even equal value and have the same monthly payment we have now because mortgage rates have increased since we refinanced last December.  *sigh*  Looks like we will be staying put indefinitely.  Even though I am really not as keen to move as MM is, I had begun to think that a change and more space might be nice, and I never like the feeling of having options taken away from me.
  • On the positive side. . . 
    • We had dinner last night with a friend and her family who are in town for a few days.  I had not seen her in over a year and (for a variety of reasons) had never met her children, ages almost-4 and two-and-a-half.  We had a really nice evening, and the boys were extremely well-behaved.
    • I will be getting to see another out-of-town friend on Saturday when she and her husband and 3-year-old daughter are in town and meet us at the Children's Museum.
    • I will be seeing two friends while I am out of town for a business trip on Monday and Tuesday
    • I have a very busy week next week, and it's all work that I enjoy, is out of the office, and cannot be procrastinated away.
Here's to feeling better soon.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Toddlers are fun

(Caution:  children and parenting mentioned and discussed)

I often think that someone who knows me only through the things I write here might easily get the impression that I am a negative person when, in fact, that is not true.  Like anyone else, I have my moments of negativity and pessimism, and I think I am more pragmatic and logical than most women. . .but in the main, I am a happy and positive person.

I think the reason that more of the things I post here are negative than positive is because this blog is, in some ways, a repository for my negative thoughts and emotions.  Historically, this is the (virtual) place I have come when I have had thoughts and feelings I wanted to pour out that I didn't want to pour out to people in real life, for one reason or another.  Often, that reason was that those thoughts or feelings were uncharacteristically negative.

In addition to being the place I come to dump my negative thoughts and feelings, this blog has also become for me a chronicle of my life of sorts.  A limited chronicle, to be sure, but a record of my experiences nonetheless.

On that note, let me share that my sons are so fun!  Most mornings, they wake up laughing and "talking" to each other.  They are full of energy and are almost constantly in motion from the time they get up until the time they go to bed (apart from naptime).

They are understanding more and more of what we say to them and are making more attempts to communicate with us.  MJ says several words consistently and signs several words as well; it seems that he picks up a new sign every few days now.  AJ says only a few words but can sign several more and clearly understands a lot of what we say.  He has surprised us lately with busting out a couple of new signs we didn't realize he'd mastered.  (I have had some mild concern about the fact that AJ seems to be "behind" his brother, but he is quieter and mellower in general, and both our pediatrician and nanny seem to think he is on track for his age.)

In addition to the pleasure I get from seeing one of the boys sign a new word or hearing him say a new word, it is also great to be able to actually communicate with one another.  It's hard taking care of someone when you have to guess what they want and when they can't understand what you're asking of them.

We are often asked if the boys play together, and I'm not quite sure how to answer that question.  They do chase each other around, and MJ often tackles/hugs (not sure which) AJ and takes things from him that he is playing with.  They often hold hands while they are in the high chairs for meals and put food or sippy cups on each other's trays.  They "talk" and laugh at each other often.

In addition to the fun of watching them learn and develop, I really enjoy getting to act silly with them.  They love it when I sing 80s pop songs at the top of my lungs or make faces or give them "horsey" or "airplane" rides.  It's nice to have an excuse to do these things!

As well as enjoying the things the boys are currently learning and doing, being a parent has made me look forward to the future more than I had in a while prior to having them in my life because I know that the next stages in development will be just as fun to watch (in addition to having their own parenting challenges, yes, but focusing on the positive here).  MM and I often talk about how we look forward to introducing the boys to various activities and experiences.

We are so fortunate to have these little guys in our lives.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Memory loss

(Caution: children and parenthood mentioned)

Does anyone else notice that, since having children, your memory has gone down the tubes?

Pre-children, I had an excellent memory.  I would remember names, faces, things I needed to do, things I had read, things people told me, things that happened to me (and to others) years back.  I could rattle off facts and details and deadlines about my cases without looking them up.

Even while I was pregnant, I congratulated myself on not having developed problems with my memory, as so many other women report.  I did sometimes have difficulty concentrating, but I attributed that more to my extreme fatigue/exhaustion and constant nausea and heartburn than to my pregnancy itself.

Then my sons arrived, and with their arrival, my previously excellent memory departed.  At first, I chalked it up to lack of sleep.  But my sons have been sleeping through the night fairly consistently for some time now, so I can no longer use that excuse. . . and the problem seems to be getting worse instead of better.

Nowadays, I sometimes cannot even remember basic things without a reminder.  At work, this state of affairs isn't too much of a problem because law offices are set up to have safeguards in place to remind the lawyers of tasks and due dates (a safeguard against malpractice claims in a setting where nearly everyone is very busy all the time).  It's a mild inconvenience having to look up things I used to be able to remember, but it's workable.

At home, though, this is more of a problem for me.  I will go to the grocery store, and if I do so without a list (on which I tick off each item one by one as I find them), I will leave without the main thing(s) I went to buy.  I have forgotten to mail friends' birthday cards (or worse, cards to their children).  Right now, I have a baby gift that I have been carrying around in my car for over a month for which I keep forgetting to buy a mailer in which it will fit so I can mail it.  (It's a good thing I didn't buy a newborn-sized outfit; the baby has probably already outgrown that size by now!)

I have completely spaced on appointments.  I forgot my last hair appointment until I got the reminder on my Phone 30 minutes before (thank goodness for the iPhone and its calendar!).  I completely spaced a doctor's appointment earlier this week because I never set a reminder on my calendar, and I forgot to check the calendar that morning.  Didn't even remember I'd made the appointment until the office called me to tell me I'd missed it.

I also find that I cannot remember people I grew up with.  I grew up in a small town--population 5000-ish, only 350 kids in my entire high school--and I attended school with pretty much the same group of people from K through 12, so you would think I would be able to remember them.  Nope.  Every few months I will get a friend request on Fac.ebo.ok, or hear of someone from my hometown who died, and I have NO CLUE who this person is.  None.  Not even after other people who know the person (like my sister) try to jog my memory.

[Actually, I think the problem I describe in the last paragraph is related to a mental block I have about my hometown because, come to think of it, I had the same problem pre-pregnancy.  Hmm.  So maybe scratch that.]

One day last weekend, I actually forgot to put a diaper on one of my sons.  Yep.  I took them both in after breakfast to change out of their pajamas and into fresh diapers and clothes.  I changed and dressed MJ and then moved on to AJ.  A few minutes later, while playing with them in the living room, I picked up AJ and happened to pat his bottom. . . and noticed, hmm, there's no padding here.  That's because the poor guy was just wearing a romper with no diaper underneath!  (Thankfully, I realized this before he peed or pooped on the romper.)

MM jokes these days about how, once I leave the house in the morning, I will always come back in at least once to retrieve something I forgot. . . my iPhone, my lunch, the key to my car.  It's true.  And I can't even tell you how many times I have driven to work in the wrong car or driven off with the boys' car seats and stroller in the back, when our nanny will be needing them that day, without even noticing until I'm almost to the office.

I am not sure what the root of this problem is.  Stress?  Hormones?  Too many things on my mind?  Early onset dementia?

They say you give up a lot of your old life when you become a parent.  I guess my memory is just one of those things I've given up.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Where do I belong?

I have been on a semi-hiatus here, and it has continued at least in part because I'm not sure where I belong.

I wrote here nearly three years ago about sometimes feeling like a fraud in the infertility community, primarily because I/we never had an actual diagnosis but were simply "unexplained."  (In fact, my local RE told me once that he would consider me "subfertile" vs. "infertile.")

That feeling has resurfaced to an even greater degree since my unplanned pregnancy in March.  I mean, apparently I am/was able to get pregnant without intervention, despite 40 failed cycles of TTC.  Who knew?

At the same time, having conceived our sons through the use of donor eggs and IVF, I feel that my "journey to parenthood" is forever set apart from those who simply conceived through intercourse, with no medical assistance.  I mean, if someone uses IVF to conceive, strictly speaking, there is no need to ever tell your child this fact about his/her conception (any more than there would be a need to detail the sexual positions used or location of said conception if it were unassisted).  Not so with donor egg IVF.

If in no other lasting way, our family is different from those families in that my sons are not genetically related to me.  Given the growing ubiquity of genetic testing, this fact is something I likely could not conceal from my sons, even if I were of a mind to do so.  (And I'm not.)

Additionally, as I wrote about hereI don't think much about my (alleged) infertility any more now that our boys have arrived, and so the angst that spurred me to start this blog and to continue writing here are (mostly) gone.  For me, blogging has been both a chronicle of my experiences and a form of therapy and catharsis, as well as a way to connect with others going through similar experiences.  Nowadays, despite being a part of PAIL Bloggers and other online communities for parents after infertility, for reasons I can't quite articulate, I just don't feel the same camaraderie or esprit de corps or *something* most of the time.

These days, my biggest challenges seem to be spending the majority of my time away from my sons at a job I find mostly frustrating and lacking in personal fulfillment, and parenting two toddlers with limited language abilities and very different personalities.  So in those respects, maybe the place I belong is in a group of other full-time, working-outside-the-home mothers of twins?  I'm not aware of such a group--I haven't really made connections like this in my local Mothers of Multiples group--but I'm sure one exists.  Although I suspect that the other moms who would "fit into" this group would be like me: too busy and stressed for many get-togethers.

I still very much enjoy reading all my regular blogs and finding out what my friends in the ALI community are up to--even those who are now parenting, since that is the majority of those friends--but I somehow feel that the things I would choose to write about here, if I had the time and the inclination, would be things that would be of little-to-no interest to those same friends.

I don't know.  I hate posing questions to which I don't know the answers; I suppose that's the lawyer in me.

To sum up:  my sons are a joy, if sometimes also a challenge; my marriage and most of my other interpersonal relationships are going along relatively smoothly at present; and I have added looking for a new job to my already full-to-the-brim to-do list.  That's my life in a nutshell.

Friday, May 31, 2013

ginger and lime is a mom!

While checking in on fellow blogger ginger and lime, I found the following written in the comments section of her last post:

A quick note of thanks to all of G&L’s wonderful followers. G&L gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy on Friday evening just shy of 37 weeks. Birth weight of 7 lbs, 4 ozs. Mother and baby are doing well. I’m sure G&L will be blogging about her experiences after she has regained her strength.
-Mr. Lime

Yea!  Stop by and congratulate her, if you're of a mind to.  :-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

PAIL Bloggers Monthly Theme Post May 2013: Body Image

(This post is part of PAIL's Monthly Theme Post for May.  You can find other posts on this topic here.)


  • How do you feel about your pregnancy / post-partum / post-adoption body?
I dislike my body now more than I ever have, and not only because it looks worst post-twin pregnancy and post-c-section (and believe me, it does).  I also dislike my body because it seems incapable of doing the most basic functions for which it was designed.  It couldn't get pregnant, couldn't stay pregnant, couldn't breastfeed, couldn't continue my medically-assisted pregnancy to term without developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

  • Did you have weight gain in addition to pregnancy gain because of depression, fertility meds, etc?
This is one of the several ways in which my body is weird. I never really gained any extra weight due to fertility treatments or really, at all during our three-year struggle with infertility.  My weight went up and down within about a 10-lb range, but that's normal for me and wasn't related directly to infertility-related stress or meds.  Also, I weighed 16 pounds LESS at my 6-week postpartum check than I weighed on the day I got pregnant, so I actually LOST weight while pregnant with my twins.  For the first trimester, people kept saying to me "Wow, you're losing weight."  And I was.  (Don't hate me because none of those weights are enviable.)

  • How do you / have you made time to focus on your health/body since becoming a mother?
I have made several starts at this since my twins were born 16 months ago but have done nothing consistently.  I am working on this. . . I am continually working on this, both pre-kids and post-kids.  Also, I have recently gone in for my annual gyn exam and made an appointment for a mammogram, as I was overdue for both.

  • Do you focus more on healthy food, good exercise, or a mix of both?
Exercise is something that I have found very difficult to fit into my schedule.  Between work and my sons, the only realistic time I have to fit it in is before work, early in the morning.  I'm not gonna lie: it's hard to make myself get out of bed before 5:30 a.m. to work out, and most days, I don't.

I have had a bit more success focusing on the healthier eating aspect.  Yes, I do slip up from time to time and eat candy or fast food, but overall, I make pretty healthy food choices.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Few things about me (a meme)

(Stolen from Jodi in an attempt to get motivated to write something here.)

1) What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was taking finals for the spring semester of my second year of law school.  On this exact date, I would've either been studying or taking my first exam, can't remember for sure.

2) What are five things on your to-do list?
1.  Fill out a corrected W2 form for my nanny.
2.  Mail check for a donation I promised a friend for a charitable organization.
3.  Add texting to my mother's line on my cell phone plan to avoid paying overage charges for her texts (gah, that sounds like I'm the parent and she's a teenager, when she's actually 68 years old today).
4.  Hire a new house-cleaning service since the one I hired two months ago stood us up.
5.  Decide whether to re-enroll AJ and MJ at The Lit.tle Gym for the summer.
(I could go on, and on. . . but these are the most pressing, apart from work and childcare.)

3) What are five snacks you enjoy?
BBQ potato chips

4) Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.
Donate a lot of money to charity.
Pay off all our debts.
Hire a full-time, live-in nanny and cook/housekeeper.
Buy a new, bigger house (with quarters for the live-in nanny and cook/housekeeper).
Establish trusts for our sons, for my nephew, and for each of my parents.
Give cash gifts to family and friends.

5) Name some places you have lived.
New Mexico, Texas, California, Connecticut, Arizona

6) Name some bad habits that you have
I'm a procrastinator and have a tendency toward laziness. . . as in, I want to try to do things the fastest and most efficient way possible most of the time.  I also use too much profanity--something I am especially mindful of now that our sons are starting to talk--and always have to work on controlling my temper (I'm a yeller).

7) Name some jobs you have had
Fast food worker
Pizza delivery driver
Tutor (math and science)
Tax clerk
Dormitory desk attendant