Monday, December 29, 2014

#Microblog Mondays 18: Sick Child Edition

I'm posting super late because I was home with a sick AJ all day.  Both he and MJ have had an upper respiratory virus that seems to have hit AJ harder.  MJ got sick first, coughing at night starting two nights before, and continuing to have an occasional cough and nasal congestion through yesterday.  MJ is pretty much over whatever this is now.

AJ started getting ill a couple of days ago, and in addition to those symptoms, he has run a near-constant fever for over two days (despite regular dosing with alternating Tylenol and Motrin), and his cough has been more severe than MJ's.  He has had very low energy, and his day care doesn't permit children with a fever to attend.

Because work is not particularly busy for me at the moment, and because the prospect of staying home from day care today with either MM or my mother brought him to tears, I spent the day at home with him.  He was cranky, restless and clingy, poor lamb.

And that pretty much sums up my Monday.

Monday, December 22, 2014

#Microblog Mondays 17

  • One thing I decidedly do NOT miss about having a nanny: having to figure out the nanny's taxes each year.  So thankful that this year is the last one I will have to worry about this chore!  (Yes, I know there are services that would've done this for me; I'm too cheap to pay for them.)
  • Our house will be spic-and-span by tomorrow evening because there is a handyman there today completing several small tasks that have gone uncompleted for months, either due to lack of time or lack of necessary skills/equipment, and a cleaning crew is coming tomorrow to clean.  G-d bless my mother for being willing to hang out at my house to let them in/supervise!
  • Speaking of my mother. . . the boys have been very happy to have their "Bubbe" (her chosen moniker) back visiting for the winter.  And in addition to my own personal enjoyment in having her around, it's always great to have another adult to keep the boys in line/entertained.  :-)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Cheer

I thought I would share some good news here. . . 
  • I have gone from being overwhelmingly busy at work to having just a few loose ends to tie up. Apparently things really slow down at this firm over the holidays.  Nice!
  • At our holiday party on Wednesday, my boss told us all that he hopes that we will take some time off over the holidays these next two weeks.  I took that to mean that, in addition to the four days that the office will be closed, it is probably OK not to be at the office the usual 8-9 hours a day on the other days, too.  Yea!
  • I received a wholly unexpected year-end bonus, as well as a salary increase starting next month!  Obviously I never received a bonus at my most recent job in government, and during the almost-three years at my previous firm, I never once received a bonus or a raise because both were primarily based on hours billed.  The extra money is nice, but the better part is feeling appreciated for being a valued member of a team. . . a feeling I haven't felt at work in a very long time.
  • Through some online shopping, I managed to get gifts off to my out-of-state relatives earlier this week.  They will arrive in time for the holiday--whew!
  • I also managed to (finally!) get my holiday cards in the mail.  I usually aim to get them sent out the Saturday after, so I am really late this year for me.
  • My mom is now in town, and I will be seeing her tomorrow for the first time since April.
  • My dad called last night to let me know that things have improved for him health-wise to the point where he *is* going to be permitted to travel here for Ch.ris.tmas.  I am looking forward to seeing him, and I think he will really enjoy being with the boys for the holiday.
  • We have actually been having "sweater weather" here this week--daytime highs in the low 60s, the coldest weather we get during the year--which has helped to make things feel a little more festive.
  • I have a plan in place to knock out the remainder of my Ch.ris.tmas shopping tomorrow.  Hallelujah!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 15, 2014

#Microblog Mondays 16

  • It is now only 10 days until, and apart from the boys' gifts--which have all been purchased--I have yet to buy a single gift.  This is an unusual, and not a good, situation, particularly because I have to ship a number of my gifts.  I will have to jump on this on Saturday.
  • My dad and stepmom were supposed to come for but now probably won't be able to because of some health issues my dad is dealing with.  I'm disappointed, and they are, too, as this would've been the first time I've spent the holiday with them since I've been married (long story).
  • The boys actually sat in Santa's lap for a photo this year!
  • I am feeling unmotivated at work today; nevertheless, I have quite a bit to do, so I'd better get to it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

#Microblog Mondays 15

Random brain dump of my thoughts from my weekend. . .

  • The boys LOVE holiday lights and decorations.  They would go out and look at them every evening if we let them.  We went to see some last Friday and have plans to see more this Thursday night at the railroad park and over the weekend at a local home that is decorated in a Disney Pixar Cars theme (they love that movie, esp. AJ).
  • Why are Santa and his reindeer more interesting to my sons than the story of the baby  Should I be concerned?  (MM and I were both raised in different Christian sects--Lutheran for him, Roman Catholic for me--but neither of us actively practices our religion.)
  • How is that I spent nearly three solid hours cleaning my house on Saturday while MM took the boys to his mother's house, and there are still many things around the house that need to be done?  I guess it had just gotten THAT bad.  At least now we have clean clothes and certain standards of hygiene are being maintained, even if it isn't as neat and tidy as I'd like.
  • I was down with a bad migraine most of Friday (although I couldn't take the day off because I had a mediation I had to attend), and as a result, I am now even more behind at work.  I am beginning to get the feeling that this job is one at which I may never be caught up.  I leave here every day feeling like I could spend another 3-4 hours at the office.  Ugh.
  • I found out this morning that there is a chance that one of the partners may leave the firm before year's end when he finds out his bonus won't be what he had hoped and that our managing partner asked the associate attorney on a big-damages personal injury case he is handling if she thought I'd be willing to take over trying that case if/when he leaves.  I'd have a few hesitations in doing so--it's a case in another jurisdiction in which I've not practiced; the case has problems and is the subject of scrutiny from the higher-ups at the insurer that is paying our bills; and the trial starts the first week of February, meaning that my workload would increase exponentially starting in just a few weeks--but I am very flattered that my boss would consider me qualified to step in and do this.
Gotta get to work!

Monday, December 1, 2014

#Microblog Mondays 14

Random, disjointed thoughts. . .

  • I hate tasks that require getting input from others.  Unfortunately, these tasks have compromised roughly half my to-do list at work of late.
  • I have pretty much convinced MJ that whether or not Santa brings him presents for is contingent on his behavior.  Not sure whether AJ has bought into this notion, as he tends to keep his own counsel more than his brother.
  • I enjoyed my four-day weekend (and should write more about some of it when I have more time), but it was also a reminder of some of the reasons I am not a SAHM.
  • I can hardly believe it's already December 1st!
  • I have so much stuff to do in the next thirty days that it seems impossible that it will all get done.

Monday, November 24, 2014

#Microblog Mondays 13

  • Can I ever have one solid week where I wake up every day feeling good physically?  Or is that just too much to ask?  I'm beginning to think the latter.
  • On a related note. . . I am improving my eating this week.  It's never TERRIBLE, but since Halloween, I've eaten one or two pieces of candy each day, and I do pick up fast food out of convenience once or twice a week.  I've planned healthy, whole foods--including vegetables--for my lunches and dinners for the next three days.  I will be staying away from the candy dish at work.  Let's see if that makes a difference.  (Thanksgiving, of course, will be its usual feast of indulgence, though.)
  • I am hopeful that perhaps with better eating I will have more energy and feel more inclined to exercise.  Here's hoping.
  • On a positive note, I had a productive weekend.  We had our family portrait session on Saturday, as well as getting all the usual weekend necessities done, and I even steam-mopped the kitchen and dining room floors last night!  All this despite the fact that the boys stubbornly continue to refuse to nap on the weekends (even though I offered them bribes! this time in the shape of chocolate babka!).
  • The boys are talking more and more, and it's hilarious at times.  I guess I must wear makeup even less than I realize because when I put on lipstick for the photo shoot, MJ asked "Mommy, what that on your mouth?"  And they then both proceeded to stare at my mouth and experimentally poke their fingers into my lips.  LOL
  • The boys, especially MJ, are OBSESSED with  Lately the only shirts MJ will wear are ones with Ba.tman on them.  So he now owns five Ba.tman shirts, as I refuse to do laundry daily and am tired of fighting with him every morning about what he will wear.
  • AJ doesn't want to wear pants.  Ever.  It's a fight every morning, whether we pull out jeans, chinos, or sweatpants.  He wants to wear a pair red athletic shorts every day, even though the morning temperatures here are now in the 40s.  
  • I'm starting to understand what people mean when they say "Three is like two, but with better language skills."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How Can It Be?


Yesterday I reserved the site and ordered the invitations for my sons' third birthday party.  (The party will be at a local railroad park that they love, and there will be not just one, but TWO bounce houses.  Probably more than we need, but I got a deal.)

How can it be that, in only two short months, the boys will be THREE YEARS OLD?

This time three years ago, I was moaning about how miserable my pregnancy had been (that post is here).  I recall feeling great mentally and emotionally--thrilled to "finally" be pregnant and to have avoided complications thus far--and feeling simply awful physically.

It's true what they say about having children: the days are long, but the years are short.

Just because I haven't shared photos of my sons here in a while. . . here are a few recent shots of them from our trip to the pumpkin patch last month.


Monday, November 17, 2014

#Microblog Mondays 12

Occasionally I have days when I am absolutely, and to my mind, somewhat inexplicably, exhausted.  Yesterday was one of those days.

I was awakened in the night by AJ twice on Thursday night.  (He has ear infections on both sides and was running a fever.)  I ended up being awake for over an hour with both boys (because MJ is such a light sleeper and refused to go back to bed until his brother did).  Despite that fact, I was only a little more tired than usual on Friday.  Nothing a little strong coffee couldn't remedy.

Saturday night, the same thing happened again.  Except this time I wasn't awake as long because MM took over after I'd only been awake a half-hour or so.

Sunday I woke up exhausted and continued to feel exhausted the entire day.  Nothing gave me energy.  Not coffee, getting outside in the fresh air, drinking lots of water, eating a healthy lunch (with lean protein and organic veggies).  Nothing.  I seriously could have gone to bed for the night before 5:00 p.m. and slept straight through until the morning.

As it was, I went to bed right after the boys and was asleep before 8:00 p.m.  I slept until nearly 6:00 a.m. without waking. . . just about 10 hours.

What the heck?  I am more tired these days than I was when the boys were still being awakened for every-three-hours-round-the-clock feedings.

If I ever had a whole weekend to myself, I think I would probably spend most of it asleep.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Has This Guy Been Reading My Blog & Email?

OK, probably not. . . it's probably just that my problem is a common one:

When Your Plate Is Too Full

#Microblog Mondays 11

  • How can it be that it's only a little over 6 weeks until  I am not ready to think about holiday shopping, cards, etc., yet!  And now that the boys are a bit older, I want to actually do some fun holiday-related outings with them this year.  I'm feeling the pressure!
  • On top of this pressure is the usual pressure of my daily life.  Being a full-time-working-lawyer/mother-of-twin-toddlers is really difficult.  I love my sons, and I (mostly) enjoy my job, but juggling the two is hard.  There just aren't enough hours in the week for all the things that demand my attention.
  • In addition to trying to do justice to my primary roles of mother and lawyer (in, I hope, that order), I also try to be a good wife, daughter, sister, friend and citizen.  I fail regularly in one or more of these roles.
  • To end on a more positive note. . . we have had beautiful weather here in Phoenix lately: daytime highs in the 80s, sunny.  (Think spring most places.)  It's made for some lovely outdoor outings--finally!

Monday, October 27, 2014

#Microblog Mondays 9

  • How much time would a 2-year-old have to spend in bounce houses before bounce houses would get old?  Just wondering after our sons spent over six hours in the aggregate in various bounce houses at three separate parties this weekend and still wanted more.
  • According to MJ, I am not allowed to have friends because I am HIS mommy.  (He is also not keen on the idea that I am AJ's mommy, too.)
  • I like candy and cookies as much as the next person, but I cannot recall ever crying because someone told me I couldn't have more of them, as AJ did this weekend.
  • The past three weekends, MJ has refused to take a nap for us.  He still naps at day care five days a week.  It really sucks because (1) he is tired and needs the rest, and (2) it means I cannot get anything done on the weekends. Ah well. . . .

Monday, October 20, 2014

#Microblog Mondays 8

Toddler haiku. . .

My son will not sleep
Though it's nap time and he's tired
A long afternoon

"Mac cheese," once a hit
Now left uneaten on plate
The dog licks his lips

Wow! Big garbage truck
It's our new favorite toy
Let the fights commence

Monday, October 13, 2014

Microblog Monday 7

Random thoughts. . .
  • I should realize by now that if I think I am caught up, either around the house or at work, that just means that I am neglecting or have forgotten a number of key tasks that need to be completed.
  • It's a sad commentary on our current life that MM and I literally cannot coordinate a single evening or afternoon this month to see the movie Gone Girl. . . when pre-kids, we would've seen this movie opening night, or at least opening weekend.  (I read and loved the book, and MM has wanted to see it since seeing the first preview.)
  • On a more positive note. . . it's so fun to see our sons growing and developing, and to see the pleasure that my in-laws derive from watching the new things they can do.
  • I really need to just schedule massages at regular intervals rather than waiting until I can actually feel the tension in my upper back and neck.
  • There were no tears at the pumpkin patch this year!

Monday, October 6, 2014

#MicroblogMondays 6

Completely random thoughts on a Monday. . . 
  • I got to see my father for a few hours this weekend.  It was good to see him, although one of the hard parts of getting older is watching my parents getting old. . . .
  • I knew when I looked ahead at the calendar for October last month that this would be a busy month for us, and every time I turn around it seems that something else gets added to our schedule.  (This past weekend was a good example: it was supposed to be our slow-ish weekend, and we ended up adding a trip to Tucson to see my dad on three days' notice, and then I went to a client dinner last night after my sons' swim lesson on only a few hours' notice.) It's nice to be social and do things, but it also gets tiring.
  • Your thoughts on this scenario: couple divorces, and one of the stated reasons (according to husband) is that he wanted children and (ex-)wife did not.  Fast forward two years: ex-wife is now married to someone else and happily pregnant.  I know the husband well enough to know that he wasn't lying when he gave me (and other friends) this reason for the break-up of their marriage, so did the ex-wife lie to him?  Did she change her mind about wanting children?  Or did she just not want to have children with *him*?  Hmmm. . . . (BTW, ex-husband is now happily engaged to someone new, so I'm not sure he cares; I'm just curious.)
  • Despite my busy-ness this weekend, I was able to spend two short periods during the boys' Saturday nap time doing some cleaning and decluttering in our house (including an area of our bedroom that hadn't really been touched in MONTHS, sadly), and I am always pleasantly surprised at how imposing some order where there was chaos gives me a feeling of comfort and peace.
  • I discovered a delicious new coffee creamer this weekend:  (  Yum!

Monday, September 29, 2014

#MicroblogMondays 5

I normally don't hate Mondays.  I actually kinda like getting back into the routine of the week, and when I don't hate my job, I look forward, on some level, to getting back to work.

Today is an exception.  I was awake in the middle of the night with gastrointestinal distress and woke up with a headache.  Which meant I had to take medication and go back to sleep after MM and the boys left.  Which meant that I got a later start to my day than usual.  Which means that I am starting the day behind.

I hate that.

Happy Monday!  ;-)

Monday, September 22, 2014

#MicroblogMondays 4

I've been thinking lately that it would be great if I could clone myself.  It seems that there simply aren't enough hours in each week for me to do all the things I need to do at work and at home and still spend the time I'd like to spend with my sons and my husband--not to mention my friends--and have sufficient hours left in the day for things like eating, hygiene, sleep, etc.

However, each time I think having a clone would be a good idea, I am reminded of the movie Multiplicity from the 1990s, where Michael Keaton's character had the same notion, and the plan didn't work out very well for him.

So rather than cloning myself, I guess I'll have to go back to letting certain things slide, being more disciplined overall, outsourcing what I can, and practicing triage.

Friday, September 19, 2014

I saw my donor today

Although our donor is technically "anonymous," I know a lot about her.  Not only do I have her profile with photos and a lot of personal information, you may recall that I also found a personal website about a year ago that revealed a lot of information about her (I posted about that here).  

So when I sat down at my gate at the San Diego airport this morning and she was there, I recognized her immediately.  I could hardly believe my eyes at first--thought my mind was playing tricks on me--but I didn't doubt for a moment that it was she.

It seems like such a huge coincidence that we were on the same flight.  There are eleven daily flights from San Diego to my city on that airline alone, not to mention others, and it appeared that she was just catching a connection in Phoenix.  Also, this trip was just a quick, overnight visit for business for me, and the first time I'd been to San Diego since our embryo transfer over three years ago.

What are the odds that she and I would be on the same flight?

It was really interesting for me to be able to see her "in the flesh," and although I was very tempted to talk to her, I resisted that temptation because I didn't want to seem like a creepy stalker.

Life is very strange sometimes.

Monday, September 15, 2014



Our sons are so busy and fun these days.  I feel like especially since they started day care they are growing up so fast.

AJ is almost fully potty trained.  He rarely has accidents with #1 (only one in the past two weeks, and it was really more our fault than his), and he actually went #2 in the potty yesterday, after struggling with that for the past couple of weeks.  He is using more and more full sentences ("I need help," "I like muffins," "That's letter A") and adding new words to his vocabulary.

He still has his shy moments but overall he seems more confident and outgoing than he was before.  He continues to love playing with shape sorters and puzzles, cars, trains and fire trucks.

MJ is a dynamo.  He is obsessed with riding tricycles ("bikes," as he calls them), at home, at the day care and at the children's museum.  He also loves cars, trains and fire trucks and loves to run around and jump.  He talks non-stop and enjoys screaming, just for fun.  He tries to sing along with the songs he knows from his favorite shows, which is terribly cute.  He is very attached to Mama: he wants me to do EVERYTHING for him when I am home, refusing to allow Daddy to do anything, and he holds my hand when he is falling asleep.  He has flatly refused to potty train, though he can tell you exactly what is expected and will clap and cheer for AJ when he goes to the potty.

I am often exhausted and frustrated by them, but they really are wonderful and special little men.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Micro-Blog Monday: Is a good mother born or made?

This question is one that has been on my mind.  Discuss in comments.

(I have purposely left the term "good mother" undefined.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Job search update


I found a new job.  I start Tuesday, the day after Labor Day.  So I will end up being out of work just a little over two weeks.  (And when taking into account the fact that I was paid for my unused vacation hours from the job I left, I actually only missed out on a little more than three days of pay, including the Labor Day holiday.)

My new job is at a small-ish, growing private law firm located a 20-minute drive from my house.  The firm opened two years ago with five attorneys who left a larger, long-established local insurance defense firm and in that time has grown to thirty attorneys in ten offices, with the main office the one in Sco.ttsd.ale where I will be working.  They seem to have a firm base of business and a lot of work, and they say they are happy to get someone with my qualifications (not only my legal experience, but my nursing background).

For my part, I am very relieved to have a job again.  I am not overjoyed at the return to working longer hours that will accompany returning to private practice, but I will make it work.  I *am* happy about the pay raise that comes along with returning to private practice.

Now I'm going to try to make the most of the three days off I have left before the weekend and a return to normalcy next week.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Adjustment and loss


It's August 21st, and I have yet to post this month, so I am overdue for an update here.

In follow-up to my last post, the boys have adjusted to day care.  MJ actually ended up having a harder time with the adjustment than AJ, surprising both MM and me.  AJ was OK at drop-off by the second day, whereas MJ was still crying and clinging to me, as well as hiding in his room at home before leaving the house, as late as the start of the second week, poor thing.  But by midway through the second week, he was OK.

MM and I are happy with the center and glad we made the change.  They both seem to be enjoying themselves when we have gone there and observed them surreptitiously.  They are happy to see us at pick-up and in the evenings and talk excitedly about their day.

In other news, last Friday, I was let go from my job unexpectedly.  I was hired there on a probationary status for the first year, as is customary, and I had expected to be kept on as a permanent employee when I completed that first year.  Instead, I was told that I was being let go, with no notice and no explanation.

Needless to say, this development came as a shock and has left me at loose ends.  I am now looking for another job at a time when I did not expect to be, and I am under some financial pressure to find one quickly.

I began my job search in earnest almost immediately (by Sunday night, I had applied for five jobs), and I already have an interview lined up for next Tuesday, as well as several other applications pending.  I hope and pray that I am working again soon.

I won't say I wasn't upset about losing my job, but at one time, something like this would have absolutely devastated me.  Although the pressure to bring in an income is greater now than it was before I had children, at the same time, having my sons makes me realize that I am more than just my career. 

Losing a job is absolutely not the worst thing that could have happened to me.  I have my sons, my husband and my family.  I have good friends who have been wonderful, checking in on me and helping with job leads.  I have my health, and eventually things will work out.

Meanwhile, I am trying to keep my spirits up and take advantage of the unexpected free time to accomplish some back-burnered projects at home (like cleaning out the garage and finishing the boys' baby books).  We have kept the boys in day care--with financial assistance from my inlaws--because we didn't want to uproot them after they had just gotten settled, only to have to re-enroll them, perhaps even in another center, once I am working again.

Apart from the fact that the boys have brought home two illness in their less-than-30-days in day care--one nasty GI virus and a miserable summer cold--there isn't much else to report.  AJ and MJ are growing and thriving, and their happiness and welfare is our primary concern.

Life is just full of unexpected turns.  Thirty days ago, I never could have anticipated that things would be as they are today.

Let's hope that in another thirty days, I will once again be moving in a positive direction professionally.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day Care

I'm surprised to see that it's only been three weeks since I've updated here. . . it seems longer, as we have had so much going on.

The biggest change in our lives is that the boys started day care today.  From the time they were born, we had intended to only keep them at home with a nanny until they turned 2 and then enroll them in day care for the socialization and structure at that time.  But when the time came to start investigating day care centers in preparation for that transition, they just didn't seem ready to me, AJ in particular, so we held off.

When the boys turned 2, AJ's expressive language was only at the 12-month level.  Between his speech delay and his shyness, we just felt that he would have a very difficult time functioning in a group setting.  (I'm sure some of the moms reading this post who have children in day care are probably chuckling, but that's how we felt.)  The cost was the same--actually, having a nanny was slightly cheaper for us--so because we didn't think he was ready (we thought MJ would've been fine), we decided we would hold off on starting either of the boys in day care until they were 3.

Over the past six months, though, AJ has made tremendous progress with his speech.  (It's not entirely clear to me if this is due to his speech therapy or simply the passage of time, or perhaps a combination of both.)  He has also become more confident around strangers (though he can still be shy or reticent at first).  And I have noticed that both boys have seemed a bit bored at home at times, despite our nanny's best efforts to keep them occupied and entertained with various arts and crafts projects and play.

What finally decided us, though, was a minor conflict I had with our nanny that made me realize how tense the employment relationship had become on both sides over a period of several months, for a variety of reasons (too long and, frankly, too boring to go into here; none directly related to her care of the boys, which was always very good).  It's funny how much we, as human beings, will tolerate in relationships of all types simply because we don't want to make a change.  It seems that we would all rather stay in situations that are less than ideal and sometimes downright negative than leave the situation and do something different.

Given that circumstance, in combination with the advances I've noticed with the boys over the past six months, we decided that it was a good time to make the leap from having a nanny to placing the boys in day care rather than simply hiring another nanny.  I was able to locate what I think is an excellent day care center located just over four blocks from my office, and in a span of less than 24 hours, I had toured the center and secured the two spots that were opening up today in the classroom for their age group.  (I lucked out in that two 2-year-olds were moving up to the 3-year-olds room today, making two spaces available.)

The boys and MM visited the center last Friday, and they all liked it.  I dropped the boys off for the first time this morning.  MJ was fine: he briefly asked me to stay and play, and when I told him I needed to get to work, he gave me a hug and kiss and went back to his toys.  AJ, on the other hand, tried to chase me out of the classroom and cried for at least 7 or 8 minutes after I left.  (ugh)

I'm sure that these transitions are hard for a lot of children, so I am hoping it will get easier for AJ as time passes.  We shall see.

Apart from this big change, the boys are also starting swimming lessons this coming weekend.  They are getting to be such big boys!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pops and puzzles

The boys got to see fireworks for the first time on Friday night.  (Yes, I know, it's just shameful that this was my sons' THIRD Fourth of July but only their first time seeing fireworks.)  My father and stepmother live in a rural-ish area, so the boys were able to watch several neighbors setting off a variety of different types of fireworks right from the front porch swing.

AJ quickly realized that the "pop" sound the various fireworks made was quickly followed by the burst of light and colors he really wanted to see.  So after firework burst, he would turn to me and sign "more" and say "more pops?"

MJ referred to the fireworks as "Puzzles!  In the sky!"  Very cute.

Needless to say, both boys very much enjoyed the display (and were surprised to find out that no more fireworks were deployed for their entertainment when they returned to the front porch swing the next morning).  Even though they were already up more than an hour past their usual bedtime, MJ dozed off while watching (due to having refused to nap on the drive to Papa and Nana's house), but I think AJ would've stayed awake another hour or so watching if he had been allowed to.

We had a good visit with Nana and Papa for the weekend. . . apart from the fact that MJ's usual bull-in-a-china shop ways led to the destruction of three pieces of his grandparents' property (a folding door, the pull string on a ceiling fan and a figurine that is now headless) and his ingestion of half a multivitamin.  (AJ, though inquisitive, was his usual quiet, docile self.)  The one "upside" to the havoc MJ wreaked is that MM and I are optimistic that it may have persuaded my parents to visit us at our house instead of theirs for the foreseeable future.

I would hardly describe the visit as relaxing--MM and I had to supervise our sons constantly--but I did get to visit with an old friend I don't see often for a half-hour or so (that's when MJ bit into the Geritol pill), and it was good to see my dad.  And now we are home, likely for the rest of the summer.

Back to work and the usual routine. . . .

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


It's petty, I know. . . but I was annoyed today to see that apparently my "frenemy" from law school and my first lawyer job is expecting her second child with her new/second husband.  She already has a son from her first marriage who is about 4 1/2 years old.  (We do not keep in touch but have a number of mutual friends and occasionally run into one another at professional functions.)

If I were a bigger person, I would wish her every happiness and be glad for her.  I guess I'm not.  Which is why I say instead. . . harumph.

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Better Self

I was thinking in the shower this morning that I wish I had someone to walk me through my days.  I had in mind a sort of wise spiritual guru who could also motivate me and remind me to work hard, eat right, keep me focused.

Then I realized that I already know a person who would be perfect in this role, and her services wouldn't cost me a dime: she's me.  Well, sort of. . . she's the me that I strive to be, the me that I am when I'm at my best, when I'm feeling strong and energetic, when I am able to keep my focus.  She's my better self.

Better Self would rise early every day and do a half-hour of yoga or go for a walk around the neighborhood with the dog before going to work.  She would awaken full of energy and would remember when the alarm goes off that exercising first thing in the morning will set the tone for her day and give her more energy all day long.

Better Self would take a few moments to apply makeup and lotion before racing out the door, and she would pick out a cute outfit to wear instead of something unflattering or drab.  She would always leave early enough to be able to catch the commuter bus to work (to save money on gas, of course), and she would get to the office on time.

Better Self would eat a healthy breakfast and lunch that she planned and packed for herself.  She would probably have healthy snacks, too.  While at work, she would be focused and productive.  She would take time to get up and walk around every hour.  She would drink water and take time for breaks.  She would make sure to get out of the office once in a while and maybe even take a walk at lunch on occasion.

Better Self would arrive home on time and have patience with her sons and their various antics.  She would prepare them a healthy dinner (and continue to exercise patience when they didn't eat it and demanded "mac cheese" instead).  She would be present in the moment and enjoy her time with her children.

After her sons were in bed, Better Self would eat a healthy dinner and then have enough energy to accomplish some tasks around the house before spending some quality time with her husband and, finally, relaxing before going to bed.

Now my only question is: where is this Better Self most of the time?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adulthood Bites

Things I hate about being a grown-up:

  • If I don't eat right and get enough sleep, I feel like crap
  • No one is going to come and clean or organize my house (unless I pay them an exorbitant amount of money. . . and then they probably won't do the job to my satisfaction)
  • I can no longer spend money with total disregard for the future
  • Certain food and drinks give me heartburn.  That never happened when I was teenager (who regularly ate Funyuns and a Dr Pepper for lunch) or in my 20s (when I worked night shift a lot and ate at irregular times)
  • I have a lot of responsibilities
  • I've had to accept that there are a number of things in life that it's unlikely I will ever accomplish
  • I can't sleep in anymore
  • Because I can't sleep in anymore, I can't stay up late anymore
  • I have to think about things like my cholesterol and triglyceride levels and my risk for heart attack and stroke (bleh)
  • My parents are old
  • All the teenagers I know were born after I graduated from college (sigh)
  • I spend more time doing things I "have to" do than doing things I "want to" do

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Throwback, er, Tuesday

My first beta confirming my pregnancy with the boys was three years ago today.  That post is here.

Time sure flies!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Three years ago today

The embryo transfer for the DE IVF cycle that produced our sons was three years ago today.  Around this time, I was probably getting ready to head over to the clinic.  (I remember that they were very busy that day and that I didn't end up getting called back to the transfer room until about 45 minutes later than my original appointment time.)

In three years, the boys have gone from being two tiny little blastocysts sharing a petri dish to being two growing boys with distinct personalities who can run, jump, climb, talk and laugh.  I remember wondering at transfer whether they were boys or girls and whether either or both of them would implant and grow to a real, live baby.  And now here they are.

In that same span of time, MM and I have gone from being a leisurely DINK couple to being the harried and happy parents of twin toddler boys.  Their arrival has irrevocably changed our lives and our marriage.

What an eventful three years!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Phenomenal Woman

I was saddened this morning to read of the death of Maya Angelou.  I count her autobiographical novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings among the books that has most deeply affected me (and I've read many, many books in my lifetime), and I have been so moved by many things she has said and written.

Rest in peace, Dr. Angelou.  Thank you for the gifts you bestowed upon us all during your 86 years on this earth.

This poem of hers has always been one of my favorites:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

(I found this text here.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What happened to PAIL Bloggers?

I guess I am behind. . . I tried to visit today (via the link on my blogroll) for the first time in months, and I got a message that the domain name expired last Friday.

Is PAIL not a thing anymore?  Come to think of it, I don't think I've gotten a monthly email from PAIL in a while. . .

I'm often out of the loop on things.  I hope PAIL hasn't quit.  I used to enjoy the monthly theme posts and would occasionally visit the blogroll to find other bloggers with kids close in age to mine.

Anyone know what's going on with that and can bring me up to speed?

Monday, May 19, 2014

The drudgery of adulthood


As much as I love my sons and enjoy spending time with them, I have, in some ways, at some times, felt that a lot of parenthood is drudgery.  As much as I would love to simply enjoy them, there is a lot more to being a parent than just that.  There is also laundry, meal preparation, cleaning, grocery shopping, diaper changes and the like.  Not all fun.

Because I am away from my sons for many of their waking hours during the weekdays, many days I feel that I am getting less of the enjoyment part of parenthood and more of the unenjoyable parts.  (Let's not even talk about toddler discipline/behavior.  Let's leave that topic for another day.)

I had a small "aha moment" on Saturday as I was washing dishes.  Pre-children, I rarely did housework.  Yep, I've now admitted it publicly. . . for many years, I did the bare minimum of housework on a daily basis to keep my home livable.  I ate out a lot, so I didn't have to wash dishes every day; I probably ran the dishwasher two or three times a week before my sons were born vs. daily now.  

I didn't make my bed unless I'd just put on fresh sheets.  I didn't straighten up every day.  (Much to MM's chagrin once we were married.)  I usually let things slide until the weekend, when things would finally deteriorate to a point where it would bug me and I would then have a block of time available and pick up.

Ditto for the bigger cleaning jobs, like the floors, the bathrooms, the kitchen, dusting, etc.  I did my best to keep things from getting very dirty during the week and would then tackle them on the weekends.  (And maybe not even every weekend, if I'm being really truthful here.)

Now that I have small children living in my home, I not only have a higher standard for cleanliness in my home, I also have two more people to clean up after besides myself.  (Thank the Lord my husband is a neatnik who cleans up after himself).  Two much messier people, I might add.  Two people who think nothing of throwing food and drink on the floor, smashing crackers into the couch, dumping out all their (carefully organized) toy bins, emptying their toy box or taking every single book off their shelves.  Two people who actually think it's FUN to make a mess, I believe, at least based on their behavior.

So I am doing a lot more housework nowadays than I ever did pre-children.  Even though I have a helpful husband, a four-day-a-week nanny with her own neatness streak and a cleaning lady who comes in once a month.  

I also do a lot more grocery shopping and meal planning than ever before because pre-children I ate out a lot or ate frozen entrees (unless I was on a weight loss kick, but those only happened sporadically).  My children can't eat Lean Cuisines or food from the McDonald's or Taco Bell drive-thrus (well, technically I suppose they *could*, but I'm quite a bit more careful about what I feed them than I am about what I feed myself), so I have to go the grocery store once or twice a week to ensure that they have milk, bread, eggs, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables and other things to eat.

For most people, these tasks are probably the normal tasks of adulthood, but for me, they feel inextricably linked to parenthood, since I never really did them before.  I guess I should consider myself fortunate; I had a pretty good run in getting to nearly age 41 without incorporating these domestic duties into my daily/weekly round.

If/when I win the lottery, a cook/housekeeper is at the top of my wish list.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The discomfort of change

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” 
― Rumi

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” 
― Rumi

Every so often, I go through a period where I feel the need to make some changes in myself or in my life.  As I have mentioned in recent posts, I am very happy with my current life.  I am very fortunate to (pretty much) have the life I want.

[Why the "pretty much" qualifier?  Well, like most working mothers, I would love to have more hours in the day, more sleep and a little more money.  But other than those things. . . yes, the life I want.]

So it's not my life that I want to change currently but myself.  I want to be a more patient parent.  (Achieving this goal is my current project and the one to which I am devoting my primary focus and the most energy and effort.)  I need to become healthier (better eating, more regular and consistent exercise).  I would like to be more organized at home and get rid of some clutter.

As I have settled in at my new job, I am feeling as though I have more psychic energy (if not physical energy; I am tired all.the.time) to devote to these goals.  I am also feeling that familiar restless discomfort that has always preceded my actually making progress toward achieving anything significant.

Now where to begin. . . .

Friday, May 9, 2014

Beauty in an unexpected place

I read The Honest Toddler for the humor.  (Do you read HT?  If you don't, you should.  If you're a parent of a toddler--or two--it's hilarious, and I think it would be funny even for those without children.)  So when I followed a link to that site this morning, I wasn't expecting to find this poem.

My family likes to joke that I am "dead inside" (long, old story) because I am rational and unemotional.  But this made me cry.

Enjoy! And Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

No Baby Fever Here

I met Jay's baby last night, and she's a cute little peanut.  I got to hold her for a long time, and she seemed to like me.  Little babies have always been partial to me since I was a teenager.

As I was leaving the hospital, I called MM to let him know I was on my way home.  He, naturally enough, asked about my visit, how Jay was doing, what I thought of the baby and the like.  When I related the above, he asked if it made me want another baby.  And I responded--just a little too quickly, apparently--"no."  MM's response was "Wow, *that* was pretty adamant."

Why, yes.  Yes, it was.

That brief exchange gave me cause for reflection.  How is that, in just a few short years, I have gone from wanting a baby so much that I was willing to go to great lengths to have one, to now being adamantly opposed to having another?  It's true that the biggest thing that has changed is that I now already have two children of my own.  I am definitely not in the same place today I was in three years ago when, coincidentally, I had my SHG and was given the go-ahead to start my DE IVF cycle.

But more than simply being no longer willing to go great lengths to have another child, I frankly find the idea of going through another pregnancy more than a little horrifying.  The months and months of feeling miserable.  Of worrying about what might go wrong, for me and for the baby.  The possibility of life-threatening complications at the end.  The (to me) seemingly impossible task of integrating one more little dependent person into my already-fuller-than-full daily round.

I saw a post on a forum I visit the other day from another twin mother who had also delivered pre-term due to preeclampsia but who is now pregnant again with a singleton.  She optimistically talked about how her high risk OB had assured her that her odds of developing preeclampsia again were probably only around 30% this time around.  Her twins are around the same age as our sons (just a little younger, if memory serves).

And when I read that post, I wondered why that risk seemed acceptable to her, even positive, when to me, it would have seemed like a good reason to stop at two children.  In a sense, her view is the more rational one: there is a better than two out of three chance that everything will be fine for her.

In thinking back on what I went through at the end of my pregnancy, with the preeclampsia and the post-delivery hemorrhage, I have long thought that I was not greatly emotionally affected by that experience.  I certainly don't remember feeling particularly scared at the time or thinking that I might die or be permanently disabled (although realistically, either outcome was a possibility).  My primary emotions were concern for my sons' well-being and guilt/shame at feeling I had somehow caused the challenges they might face.

But it is an indisputable fact that that little tug that I used to feel when I would hold someone's newborn. . . that visceral, maternal urge that spurred me forward in my quest for parenthood for so many years. . . is absolutely, positively gone now.  While I can hold and look at newborns and appreciate their beauty and innocence, they inspire zero longing in me.

So perhaps I was more affected by my experiences of pregnancy and delivery than I realized at the time.  Or maybe I just know that I have reached (and exceeded?) my personal limit for parenting.

Who knows?

I will say this: in a perverse way, it is nice to know that I am indisputably, unquestionably, no ifs-ands-or-buts done with pregnancy and childbirth.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Congratulations, Jay!

I am so happy today for my friend Jay, who welcomed her second baby girl last night.  Jay blogs at Stuck in a Baby Drought.  We originally met through our blogs and have become friends in real life.

It seems like just the other day that the two of us were meeting for lunch to discussing our infertility woes.  I can remember one particularly long lunch when I discussed my plans to go for a DE IVF consult, and Jay later ended up doing a DE IVF cycle at the same clinic a few months later.  Now my sons and her daughter meet up regularly for play dates, and our conversations these days revolve more around our shared challenges as working, 40-something mothers of toddlers.

One of the best parts of having a blog is the friends you make.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Catch Up

I sometimes think it would be nice to have a week, or even just a weekend, to myself, just so I could catch up on all the things I used to be able to keep on top of but no longer seem to be able to.  A few examples:

  • I still have wrapping supplies sitting in a corner of our master bedroom, although we've now passed Easter.
  • I have a number of outgrown baby items (clothes, toys, gear) that I want to re-sell on a local swapping site, craigslist, eBay, or take to my local kids' consignment store or Goodwill.  But they aren't organized or sorted enough to allow me to accomplish that.
  • I did laundry Sunday when I returned from my trip but never put the clothes away.  They're still waiting in a basket and on the dresser.
  • I know that planning meals ahead is healthier and saves money.  It also takes time and effort that I seem unwilling or unable to spend these days.
  • We have two old, destroyed lawn chairs/chaises in our backyard that need to be thrown away.  One has been back there for over a year.
Each day, each week, I seem barely able to accomplish the bare minimum of required tasks: get myself up (early), get myself to work; work all day, with a break for lunch when I'm lucky; get home in time to relieve our nanny (goodness knows I don't want to pay her extra; we are already paying her almost more than we can afford); feed, occupy, entertain and care for our sons until bedtime; eat my own dinner, straighten up and spend time with my husband (if either of us still has the energy to interact with one another); and go to bed as early as I can so I can do the whole thing over the next day.  

Weekends are a little easier, since I don't have to factor work and commuting into the equation. . . but then again, MM and I then have to coordinate the full time care of our sons without the nanny, with only occasional babysitting assistance for date night once or twice a month.  And during those two days, we have to try to squeeze in not only some quality time with, and entertainment for, our sons, but all our weekly errands and chores: yard work, grocery shopping, laundry, minimal house cleaning, etc.  We also try to each spend some time alone and spend some time together.  Needless to say, weekends end up being just as busy as weekdays.

I love everything in my life.  I have a job that is intellectually stimulating and fulfilling (though I wish it paid a little more); I have a loving husband; I have two wonderful, healthy children; I am fortunate to have living parents and a sister and parents-in-law, with each of whom I enjoy good relationships; and I have good friends.

I just don't seem to have time for it all these days.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


  • I took my first vacation in three years last week.  I enjoyed it and also did not dread returning to work.  I think that's a good sign that I'm in the right job, as in my last job, I often dreaded going back to work on an average Monday.
  • One of the best parts of my vacation was getting to see my sister, who I only see about once a year, since she lives in North Carolina.  We are both very busy with our own lives, making it hard for us to get together more often.  We spent three-and-a-half days with her and my nephew in Las Vegas, and it was great.
  • I really enjoyed the extra time I got to spend with my sons while on vacation, as well as getting to show them new things on our trip and do different activities with them.  Traveling with two toddlers is far from relaxing, but their behavior on the trip exceeded my expectations.
  • As soon as we went back to work on Monday and got back into our normal routine, for some reason, our sons have been misbehaving more than usual. . . really pushing boundaries, doing everything they know they aren't supposed to do.  Not sure what that's about.  Makes me wish I hadn't given up alcohol for my migraines a few years back because I could use a glass or two of wine after they go to bed.
  • I've been exceptionally busy at work this week, between having been out of the office last week and preparing to be out of the office again all next week for an eight-day training seminar out of state.  In addition to having to do all the work due this week and next, I also have to do about eight hours of preparation for the seminar. . . oh, and all the usual stuff around the house. . . and prepare for my trip.  Oy.
  • My MIL is having major spinal surgery tomorrow afternoon.  I wish she was not having her surgery the day before I am leaving town for eight-and-a-half days, but I had no input on its scheduling, and she just wanted to get it done ASAP, since she has barely been able to sit, stand or walk more than a few feet without severe pain since her car accident a few weeks ago.
  • Apart from dealing with my wild and naughty two-year-old boys, my more-demanding-than-usual full-time job, and my seminar preparations, I have also had migraines the past two days.  Great timing.
  • MM and I have decided that I need to start taking more time for myself.  It's true that I have had hardly any personal time since the boys have been born, apart from rare and sporadic weekend outings with friends.  (The reasons for this are mostly mundane and not worth getting into.)  So I have agreed to start spending two hours each weekend out of the house, on my own, with or without friends.  Now I just have to decide how I will spend that time.  Any suggestions?  (I won't be starting for three weeks since I'll be gone the next two Saturdays.)
  • Apart from their naughty wildness--typical two-year-old boy behavior, I'm told--my sons are doing well and are quite entertaining on the whole.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gwynnie Bee review


I am not fashionable and never have been.  I have often joked with my sister (who, unlike me, dresses quite well and has a good eye for clothing) that I've dressed like someone's mom since long before I *was* someone's mom.  In spite of my lack of fashion sense, I would like to dress better.

Like anyone, I know what I like, but I am not good at putting outfits together or even, really, at knowing what looks good on me.  Additionally, I work in a field where dress is generally expected to be fairly conservative (law).  So I don't really have the freedom to "take chances" with what I buy to wear on a daily basis.

I also hate to shop.  When I do shop, I shop like a man: I know what I want/need, and I want to find it, buy it and leave the store.  Browsing is tedious to me, and I don't shop for fun, like most women.  (I will, on rare occasions, go shopping with friends, but I do it because they want to and am then in it purely for the social aspect and because it is the friend's chosen activity, not mine.)  The phrase "retail therapy" is lost on me because shopping causes me more anxiety than it relieves.

My dislike of shopping was present before I had twin toddlers and no time to shop for myself.  That desire to avoid shopping for myself has only increased since my sons were born.

As a consequence of these facts, I generally end up wearing the same few basic pieces over and over for work.  And I have almost no clothes for casual wear.  On the infrequent occasion when MM and I go out on a date, or that I go out with friends, I find myself wearing jeans and the same two or three shirts I've had for years over and over.  Most of my wardrobe essentially consists of lounge-around-the-house clothes (T-shirts, shorts, sweats and the like) and work/court appropriate attire, with very little in-between.

I had recently read about Stitch Fix on a few blogs, and the service sounded ideal for someone like me who needs to improve her wardrobe but doesn't enjoy, or have time for, shopping.  Alas, when I visited their website, I learned that they only style women up to size 14/XL.  I have been wearing a size 16 for quite some time--with no realistic plans for significant weight loss in the foreseeable future--so that ruled them out for me.  Too bad.

I then learned of a somewhat similar service called Gwynnie Bee for "plus size" women (I put the words "plus size" in quotes because their website indicates they serve sizes 10-32, and I personally would not consider sizes 10-14 "plus size.")  They offer a free 30-day trial, so I decided to give it a try for a month.

My thoughts so far:


  • No commitment.  If you don't like the item when it arrives at your house, or after you've worn it, just ship it back, postage-paid.  You don't have to launder it or anything.

  • Convenient.  You just select garments to place in your "closet" on their website, and packages with clothing arrive at your doorstep in 2-3 days.

  • You get to try clothes and brands you might not otherwise pick.


  • They don't tell you when you put an item in your "closet" whether or not it is available to be sent to you, and apparently there is no way of knowing when (or if) it ever will be.  Personally, I found this a little misleading, as I thought it would be more similar to shopping online.  Also, Gwynnie Bee decides which of the items in your closet to send to you; you aren't really "ordering" from the website.

  • Although each item lists the fabric(s) from which it is made, there are no washing/care instructions included in the product description. This is something I ALWAYS consider before buying an item, and especially so now that I have small children.  The fact that something is dry clean only or requires ironing would be enough to convince me not to buy it, even if I love everything else about it.  I will only buy things that are machine washable, no iron these days, so I would prefer to know upfront the care that is required of the garments I might order. . . because why bother ordering them if there is zero chance I will buy them?
  • The purchase price of the items is also not made available to you until the item arrives at your house.  Their stated rationale for this is that they "want to make sure that you love the style and fit of that particular garment before deciding to purchase it."  Um, OK.  No matter how much I love the style and fit of a garment, I won't pay more than a certain amount for a dress, blouse, etc., no matter how much I love it, so I would prefer to know before I even try it out what it would cost, rather than waste my time trying out (and potentially falling in love with) something I would never realistically buy and keep.

So those are my thoughts at this point.  So far I have received four items, and there has only been one that I would consider keeping (I have returned two of the garments after just trying them on).  I am still on the fence about whether or not I will continue as a paid member when my 30-day trial ends.  

Anyway, if you happen to wear sizes 10-32 and think you'd like to try it out, feel free to use my referral link.  (Full disclosure: I will get a free garment for one month if you do.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014



I've often felt that my life is full of many things I "should" do but that I do not do.  As a few examples: I should eat better, exercise more, keep a cleaner/more organized house, give more time and money to charity, etc.

The list of things I "should" do has only grown since I have become a mother.  Now I have another whole list of things I should be doing for my sons in addition to all the things I should have already been doing for myself and for my community.  And now I have less time and energy to do all the things I *should* have been doing before, but often wasn't.

I sometimes I ask myself why so many people seem to have more self-discipline than I.  I'm not quite sure of the answer to this question.  (I suppose if I knew the "why," I would be more than halfway to solving this problem.)  I seem to be almost incapable of sticking to anything that requires a regular, particularly a daily commitment, and I have been like this for as long as I can remember.

This characteristic has held me back from doing many things I have wanted to do.  Thinking back as far as junior high school, I had difficulty practicing my clarinet consistently.  I believe I had some real musical talent, based on the opinions expressed by music educators outside my small hometown at various summer music camps I attended.  But I never did much with it, primarily because I only practiced sporadically, never daily (unless I had a competition in a week or so, ha ha).

I know that I didn't earn the grades I could have in college had I formed better study habits.  The fact that my earned grades were inconsistent with the potential revealed by my college entrance testing scores was pointed out to me by two different academic advisers.  My lack of reliable study habits were one factor (though not the only, or even the determining, factor) in my decision not attend medical school.

I think it goes without saying that my failure to exercise regularly has certainly contributed to my being overweight for my entire adult life.  Eventually that failure will have real health consequences as well.  I know this intellectually, and yet I find myself somehow incapable of forming healthier habits long-term.

I have done the things I have been able to accomplish in my life not because of any self-discipline I possess, but rather, in spite of a glaring lack of self-discipline.  I really believe I could do and be so much more, if I just weren't so lazy.  But I haven't the first clue where to start to change.

I recently read an interesting book related to this topic that was recommended to me by my BFF:  It's called The Power of Habit, and it talks about the neuroscientific explanations of how habits form and how to change them.  Really interesting stuff.

I don't really have a point here.  I just thought that getting my thoughts out of my head might help me stop "should"-ing all over myself.  We all have our struggles, and this is one of mine.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Five Years Ago Today

I was posting about MM's struggles with getting a semen sample to the RE's office for testing.  (You can read that post here.)

Ah, the early days of infertility, when we thought we'd just "need a little help."  So naive, so ignorant.  Good times. . .

Monday, March 10, 2014

10 Days

Ten days into this month, and I have yet to write a post.  So I will share just a few quick thoughts.

  • I got to watch the Oscars last weekend and actually stayed awake for the entire broadcast.  Unlike last year's Oscars, when I had seen none of the Best Picture nominees, I had at least seen one of the Best Picture nominees.  Progress. . . 
  • We had such a fun weekend with the boys this past weekend.  They are healthy again and were very active and feisty at Saturday's Lit.tle Gym class and had a great time at the zoo on Sunday.  (Although it was a little hard for MJ to understand why it was OK to be in the enclosure with, and petting, the goats but not the other animals.  I guess that kind of logic is difficult to grasp at 2.)
  • We continue to have beautiful weather here and must enjoy it while we can, as it will probably start getting hot in a little over a month here.
  • My inlaws were in a fairly serious car accident last Wednesday.  My FIL has three fractured ribs and had to spend two nights at a local trauma center for observation due to concerns for possible internal injuries/bleeding, and my MIL, although she suffered no serious injuries, has been in severe pain with her back, which was already giving her problems prior to the accident.  MM had to spend a couple of days and nights with his mother, helping her while she could barely get around, and they are both still having a difficult time of it.
  • My mom is still in town and has been a help with the boys and with my inlaws after their recent accident.
  • I woke up with a mig.raine today and am very, very tired as a result.  I have a lot to do this week and am not feeling very focused due to my headache and fatigue.  
  • I somehow managed to scratch my cornea last Thursday night/Friday morning and woke up with a very red and inflamed eye.  I am now forced to apply antibiotic ointment four times a day and wear my (not-current-prescription, broken-and-taped-back-together) glasses until it heals.
  • I still feel like I need a vacation.  Happily, I am going to be getting one in a few weeks: I will be off work from March 31 through April 4, and during that week, we are going to spend a few days in Las Vegas visiting with my sister and her family.  
  • Back to the grind. . . . 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Hats off to the SAHMs of twin toddlers

I did something yesterday that I never do: I spent an entire weekday at home alone with my sons.  Why don't I ever do this, you may be asking?  I work full-time outside the home--and have since my sons were 10 weeks old--and until recently, that work was at a job that did not afford me any paid leave.  So even if my sons were ill, or my nanny was sick herself or had the day off, I would have to go to the office, and we would make other arrangements for my sons' care.  That was just the way things were.

Yesterday's arrangement came about due to a few factors.  First and foremost was the fact that the boys' nanny called in sick.  Both boys have been sick with a gastrointestinal illness off and on all week, ever since MJ vomited all over himself in his car seat on our way from the children's museum to his grandparents' house on Sunday afternoon.  One or the other of them has had either vomiting or diarrhea each day of the week since then, and they shared that illness with each of their adult caregivers.  I was laid low on Tuesday and had to leave work early and call MM to cut his workday short and come home and take care of the boys while I lay in bed, battling chills, cramps and nausea, wishing for death.  MM had a much less severe case of the same illness the following day.  Yesterday was apparently our nanny's turn.

Given my job change of a few months back, I now have paid sick leave which allows me to take a day off in circumstances such as these, and because MM already cares for the boys on his own all day every Friday, and I had nothing scheduled for Thursday that could not readily be rescheduled, it seemed to make the most sense for me to take the day off and stay home with the boys.

After spending the day in the role of a SAHM, at least temporarily, I have to say that my hat's off to those twin moms of toddlers who do this every single day.  I think I might be able to manage one of my sons on a daily basis, or both of them if they were spread apart a bit in age.  But taking care of two 2-year-olds is hard, hard, hard.  It's one thing to deal with the irrationality, impulsivity and emotionality that is age TWO for a few hours at a time (as I usually do).  It's another thing entirely to deal with these things for an entire day without a break.  (Did I mention that my sons no longer nap for us unless being driven around in the car?  And then only for an hour or so at best?  Yeah.)

By noon I had confirmed for myself that continuing to work outside the home, rather than being a SAHM, is the right choice for me.  Not that I had ever had any real doubt the decision.  I believe that knowing your strengths and weaknesses is key to making good decisions for yourself and for your family, and I know that I require a high level of intellectual stimulation and quite a bit of adult interaction in my days, and that I am not the world's most patient person by a long shot.  I also think that the net benefit to our family of my income--in addition to the benefits to me, personally, of working--makes the choice the right one for us.  And I am fortunate to be able to afford excellent care for them when I'm not there.  (Believe me, our nanny is FAR more patient than I and provides them with much more structure and age-appropriate stimulation.)

At the same time, I also enjoyed getting to spend the extra time with my sons.  AJ clearly wasn't feeling well, and I liked being able to give him extra cuddles myself (even though I know our nanny would have cuddled him if she had been there).  I shared several laughs with both of them.  I enjoyed being able to take the boys to the park myself and to see firsthand their excitement at seeing two school buses (and the "big kids" who got off them) and a kite being flown by two little girls and their mother.

Maybe I would "grow into" the role of SAHM if I occupied it long enough.  Who knows?

I will say, though, that being home with my sons all day, without any real break, was a lot more taxing than a typical day at the office.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New study on breast-feeding benefits

I came across this article today summarizing the findings of a new study of comparing siblings who were fed differently in infancy.  One thing that struck me particularly: asthma was associated more with breast-feeding than with bottle-feeding.  Who'd have thought that?  I actually have friends who chose to breast-feed longer primarily in the hope of helping their children avoid asthma.

One of my favorite parts of this article is this quote included from the study's author:

I’m not saying breast-feeding is not beneficial, especially for boosting nutrition and immunity in newborns,” Colen said. “But if we really want to improve maternal and child health in this country, let’s also focus on things that can really do that in the long term – like subsidized day care, better maternity leave policies and more employment opportunities for low-income mothers that pay a living wage, for example.

I couldn't agree more.

Friday, February 14, 2014


The Mom I Am vs. The Mom I Hoped to Be

Amber's recent post about things she swore she would never do when she had children got me thinking about the same subject with regard to my own parenting.  As well as doing some things with my sons I never thought I'd do, there are also things I definitely thought I *would* do that I didn't do, or at least haven't done so far.

For me, part of the difference between my ideal and my reality has had to do with the fact that I had twins instead of the one baby (or one-baby-at-a-time) I had envisioned.  As I wrote about here recently, there are just some things that either don't work as well, or don't work at all, when you have two babies or toddlers who are the same age at the same time.  So I attribute the fact of my having twins to my not "wearing" my sons more when they were infants; to my inability to breastfeed (though my premature delivery, preeclampsia, and postpartum/postoperative hemorrhage were certainly factors in that failure as well); and to my decision to put, and keep, my sons on a schedule, rather than letting them dictate their own schedules as infants.

Here are a few other areas where my real life has not squared with my imagined ideal.

FOOD:  I have touched on the fact that I had planned to breastfeed my sons and was unable to do so.  Instead, they spent their early days being sustained by formula.  Oh well.

I also want my sons to develop better eating habits than their parents, and I believe that good nutrition in the early years is extremely important for a number of reasons.  To that end, I had planned to feed my sons only wholesome, organic food.  I also wanted to feed them a variety of foods, in the hope that they would grow up to have palettes more varied than their father's (who is a self-confessed, lifelong, "picky" and unhealthy eater).

I haven't done horribly in this regard--my sons have never tasted fast food; when offered a lollipop or other candy by someone, will throw it on the floor because they don't know what it is; and love fruits and some vegetables--but I have fallen far below the standard I had set for myself in this area in terms of providing them with a variety of healthy choices.  There is still time to improve here, and I hope to do better.  It is just a challenge to find the time to plan and prepare toddler-friendly meals on top of everything else I have going on.

MEDIA USAGE:  Like Amber, I was wholly opposed to TV viewing--actually, the use of all media--before age 2, in line of the AAP's recommendations on the topic.  I have never been a big TV watcher myself (and have lived without it entirely during several longish periods of my adulthood), and have a few friends who followed these recommendations, so I foresaw no problem with following them myself.

What changed was that my husband did not agree to a complete ban on media usage and would only agree to restrictions on screen time and content.  So I have had to compromise in this area, and our sons now watch a few shows geared toward preschoolers, an occasional DVD for the same age group, and sometimes YouTube videos on my iPhone.

DISCIPLINE:  I thought I would be patient and understanding and would guide our sons into correct behavior in age-appropriate ways.  I have had extensive contact with young children through my 42 years, and I have also done quite a bit of reading on this topic, so I thought I had the necessary skills and knowledge to accomplish this goal.

Guess what?  Most of the recommended behavior management strategies don't work nearly as well--or at all--when you are dealing with two same-aged toddlers at once.  Good luck trying to gently correct one child while the other one is climbing the furniture, getting a knife out of a kitchen drawer, crawling out the dog door, or otherwise engaging in some type of dangerous behavior.  Ditto for trying to get them to stay in bed.  Before our sons were 2 years old, they had already decided it was a fun game to "double team" us--one would pick up with the prohibited behavior the moment his brother had been prevented from doing it.

You also can't effectively keep two toddlers in time-out at one time.  Just sayin'.  I don't know how the child care workers at day care centers keep order because it is chaos at our house much of the time these days.

Also, both my parents are yellers.  My sister and I were yelled at many times during our childhood.  I have worked hard over many years to control my temper, and I was determined not to yell at my children.  I confess that, so far, I have failed in that regard.  I don't yell at them a lot, but I do yell.  I continue to work on this, but for those of you who have toddlers or older children, I think you can understand how trying it is to try and maintain patience with two misbehaving toddlers at one time.

READING/CRAFTS/ETC.:  I thought I would spend a lot of time with my children reading books, coloring and doing various crafts.  What I have discovered with my sons is that, in general, they don't have a lot of interest in these activities.  They will occasionally sit and look at the pictures in books, but if I try to actually read a story, one or both of them will pull the book away and run off with it.  They try to eat the crayons or playdough any time I offer it to them.  They fight over the supplies if/when we try to make things together.

I am told that these things are partly due to their being boys and partly due to their age and may improve with time.  We'll see.

Fortunately for me, most of my views about what kind of mother I would be were privately held vs. being broadcast to the wider world, so I doubt most people in my life would see these deviations from my ideal as failures.  I guess even before my sons arrived I realized, at least to some degree, that the kind of mother I would be would depend in part on the kind of child(ren) I had.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I often feel that the majority of the posts I write here focus on the negative.  I don't think I am alone in this practice; I think that many of us use our blogs as a place to vent or to record difficult thoughts or feelings.

That said, there is so much more that is good about my sons than bad.  Yes, there are challenges to having twin two-year-olds.  No doubt about that.  But at the same time, two is a very fun age.  The boys are a constant source of entertainment, and it is really great to see them learning and growing every day.

MM and I remind each other often that the same behaviors that we find difficult to manage signify appropriate development in our sons.  We would much rather they be going through this phase than not.

Also, while I will admit that I am more than a little biased as their mother, I think that both AJ and MJ have very likable little personalities.  They are two very lovable little boys.  MJ makes me laugh every day, and AJ is a little sweetheart.

My life is much more complicated now than it was three years ago.  I sleep less, I have less money to spend, and my time is not my own.

But in addition to the fact that I love them both dearly, I feel that my life is richer and more nuanced for having these two little men in it.  And for that reason, I wouldn't wish to go back to the days before they were here. . . even though it would mean more sleep, more money and more time for myself.