Monday, August 15, 2011

Just the girls

Jason and Zev are in CA.  His aunt and uncle are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, and while we were all invited to the party, I just wasn't stupid brave enough to want to take the girls.  So Jason and Zev were our representatives and off they went. 

And it was just me and the girls.  I was looking forward to it, actually.  They can be rather fun.  And I tried to make some play-dates with friends I haven't seen in a long time who also happen to have children.  My old boyfriend from college is now married and has a one year old daughter and I thought it would be fun to do something with them.  Likewise, my neighbor is still home on maternity leave with her three year old twin boys (who are friends with Zev) and three month old son.  But in both cases, the nap schedules just didn't mesh up...while my girls are on one long nap/day, each of my friends still have their children on 2 naps/day, directly opposite from my girls.  Oh well.  I did still manage to catch up with my neighbor who walked by while my girls were napping, and I also saw my mother and sister one morning.  Other than that, we spent a lot of time at an inside playground since the weather was so nasty. 

The most difficult part of the day, honestly, was after 7pm and the girls were in bed.  Its a weekend, and its 7pm.  And I'm stuck at home with nothing to do.  Which, if you know me personally, is utter torture.  I don't like watching TV.  I do like to read, but can only do it in short amounts, and I didn't have anything new I wanted to read.  So I browsed Netflix and did a little crosswords.  Yay, the happy life of a parent.  And I was somewhat productive during naps: cleaned the fridge, mopped the floor, cleaned out our toy bins and tossed old toys that we weren't using anymore.  So I feel a little more organized.  It won't last, but at least for two hours, the house was relatively clean.

We did miss Jason and Zev.  Tzelia was specifically pretty clutchy all weekend, but she also had the wonderful timing of coming down with a cold.  Meorah was congested the first night, and had a hard time falling asleep...its like she KNEW it was only me.  Sigh.  Meorah loved seeing Jason on Facetime and kept reaching for the phone when she saw his face.  We'll see how they react when they see him (and Zev) tomorrow night.

It sounds like Zev had a good time, and I can't wait to hear it from him.  And see more pictures.  I know they checked out Disney Land and Lego Land and the beach.  Jason wants to try for all of us to take a vacation together next summer.  That may work.  We'll see.

Meorah is walking much better.  She still knee-walks, but that has gone down dramatically.  I am concerned about Tzelia's weight and we are continuing to add cream to her milk.  No complaints from Zev about the leg braces, but I should make an appointment for him in a few weeks to get him looked at again.

Its always something, isn't it?  But lots of good things as well.  Can't complain too much.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I realized the other day that I haven't updated in awhile.  I guess life got away from me.

We're into July and it was a beautiful (not) 90+ degrees today.  Ugh.  We live in a house with no central air, so the evenings are pretty killer.  We do have air conditioners, so there is some relief.  But since it is finally summer, we have been trying to spend a lot of time outside.  A few pictures from the last few weeks:

And from the fourth of July at my parents' house:

To quote my husband:  my kids are more patriotic than your kids.

Some news as well:  orthodic shoes for Zev.  But I'll try to get to that in another post.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fear continues

Its still going on.

The 'shadow' has turned into the 'shadow monster'.  It seems our curious 3 year old picked up a slightly more advanced picture book at daycare a few days ago, and it had a rather frightening picture of a shadow with evil yellow eyes in it.


Now the shadow monster has come into being.  He talks a lot about shadows and the shadow monster.  Our approach has been to dissuade him that there is such a thing as a shadow monster (rather than the opposite approach of playing into the fantasy).  We've been telling him to talk back to the shadows if they bother him ("You can't hurt me, you're just a shadow), that he isn't alone in the house at night, that his room is safe and nothing can hurt him, and that if he needs mommy and daddy we are right here.  He will eventually fall asleep, but still wake up 2-3 times at night crying and running into our room.

At this point it is also manipulation:  he wants to come sleep in our room.  But we definitely do NOT want to encourage that.  So he ends up being brought back into his room, quite unhappy.  This goes on a few times until he finally gives in and stays in his room, after much crying and yelling from everyone.

A nightly occurance.  Luckily for me, I am used to multiple wakings and little sleep.  I lived that life for over a year when I was pumping and pregnant.

Hopefully this is just a phase.  But its getting tiring.

Jason took up boxing.  There was a Groupon for a discounted month membership at a local boxing gym.  Boxing is something I have wanted to do for YEARS.  But I was always pregnant/breastfeeding/pregnant/etc.  So when I saw this Groupon, I jumped at it.  Jason decided he wanted to try it to, so he is going first.  Two classes so far, and he really likes it.  Its both a stress reduction and a way to get in better physical shape.  It leaves me alone with the kids two evenings a week, but that's ok:  I'd rather he get the stress relief. 

Because, as always, we have stressors.  I think we are going to put the girls back in Early Intervention.  The initial interview is next week, and then we will schedule an assessment for them.  Our pediatrician agreed that it would be ideal to have someone work with them one-on-one since they refuse to walk independently and have only a few words each.  They may need someone to force the issue.

I'm not too worried about it.  But I do agree that early intervention is a good idea.

Fathers Day is this weekend.  I already have my gift for my husband, but I'll have to wait to share it in case he decides to read this between now and then....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Afraid of the dark

What do you do with a toddler who is afraid of the dark?

I've mentioned before Zev's refusal to go to bed at a 'decent' time.  At first, I believe it was because he had been getting very little parent-child time and didn't want to miss out on the 'fun' mommy and daddy were having downstairs after he went to bed.

(yeah, fun.  Both of us exhausted, and trust me, there was no 'fun' being had if he was refusing to go to bed...)

Our 'solution' until a few weeks ago had been to turn off all the lights downstairs and watch some television while he laid down on Jason.  Eventually he would be too tired to refuse, and he would be brought upstairs.  But Iif he was brought up too early, even if he said he wanted to go, he would just come right back downstairs: "Don't want to go to bed".  My fear in arguing has always been waking up his sisters, so I generally wimp out and let him stay up pretty late.

But that isn't working anymore.  And now it has become something else.  He has mentioned 'the shadow' for about a year.  Being far more verbal now that he's older, he has been able to say that he doesn't like the shadows in his room.  He will point them out and be obviously very afraid.  We've tried blocking the shadows with various objects, using different lights, distracting him with his new overhead fan or books, telling him that his 'bear' and 'tiger' will keep him safe...  but every night its a battle.  Jason talked to his teachers at daycare, and they said they were pretty surprised that someone his age (so young) would have enough imagination to be afraid of the usually doesn't happen until children are a bit older.

Great.  My son has to be 'advanced' in such a way that screws us over.

I do have to add that I feel horrible for him.  He's obviously frightened, although I'm sure part of it is a manipulation to stay downstairs as long as possible.  But at 3am when he wakes up and comes into our room wimpering because he doesn't want to be in bed, its hard to be sympathetic given that I'm up before 5am.  Which of course just makes me feel like a horrible person.

Anyway, the teacher suggested we introduce flashlights to him and let him 'play' with shadows so he understands what they are and that they cannot hurt him.  We bought one for him to use at daycare and they are going to work on it with him.  He loves it of course; he's seen flashlights before and loves the big utility flashlight Jason has.

Hopefully this will make things easier.  Because as I said, we aren't having 'fun' in the evenings if he is refusing to go to bed until we do.  Hell, I'd like to just have some nice time with my husband watching some stupid movie on the couch.  Or having an adult conversation without hearing "Mommy, watch me!!" as he does something utterly random, the purpose of which is just to make sure he stays in the center of my attention.

"Trust me, Zev.  I'm always watching you"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer is coming

Memorial Day weekend was BRUTAL!  90 degrees and very humid.  We're still working out our tree issues from last summer, and a fair amount of time was spent shoveling mulch into refuge bags.  So far we've bagged 34 bags of mulch.  And we haven't even touched the dirt.  We have to remove all of the mulch and dirt around the stump before we can get it ground up and removed.  It took a weekend to build the wall and lay the dirt and mulch, and its taking much longer to take it all down.

In addition, I do have to say building that retaining wall and garden bed was a heck of a lot more fun than tearing it down.  I do enjoy the work, though.  I like the physical labor; in another life maybe I would do some kind of landscaping for a career.

Sat, Sun, and Monday mornings were spent sweating over a shovel and mulch.  The kids were pretty good at playing in the backyard while we worked.  Sunday afternoon we went to a picnic at a friends house in a local suburb.  Every time we drive down there we have the 'should we move out here' discussion (cheaper houses, good jewish community).  And every time we come to the conclusion that the commute would be too awful to live with.

Lovely time.  And thanks to SF for the pictures.

And now its June.  Some good news for me:  we may have a new diagnosis on what has been bothering my GI system for the last year and a half.  A week ago I was woken up with intense, excrutiating chest pain at 1am.  I was lucky to be chosen to fulfill my civic duty of jury duty had to go to jury duty the next day and suffered through it.  The next few days were episodes of horrific chest and abdominal pain which OTC antacids were not helping.  A long visit to the doc concluded in a possible new diagnosis:  esophogeal spasms.  Everytime I would eat, I would get sharp chest pains similar to a heart attack.  Basically, my esophogeal muscles would spasm every time I would swallow anything, including water.

Not a good situation to be in.  It made me nauseous, cranky, and very frightened.  I'm trying a new medicine which is an antispasmotic, and it is (gasp!) working!  No chest or abdominal pain since I started.  Unfortunately I am only going to take them for a week, so it remains to be seen if it comes back once I'm off of them.  We'll see.  I haven't been that good at taking it (it is supposed to be 4x/day, and I don't always forget to take them to work) so I'm going to hope that I won't need them long-term. 

Kids are doing great.  We've been going on nightly walks with the kids now that the weather is nicer.  I have a two child wagon that we cram all three kids in, and we walk around the neighborhood.  Daycare is going smoothly, although the girls had a slight 'altercation' there the other day:  Tzelia bit Meorah hard enough to leave bite-marks.  But I suppose if she's going to bite someone, its better that she bit her sister so I don't have to deal with some other kid's parents.  So now two of my three kids are biters (see previous post on Zev's biting habits).  At least its confined to family members and inanimate objects....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

At least he isn't biting...

We've been in daycare for about two months now.  And Jason just had his second parent-child conference with Zev's teachers.

The first one came after a particularly unusual day:  Zev had shown some unusual aggressive behaviors that day and the teachers were concerned.  Looking back, we believe it was the Claritin we had given him that morning, and we decided to give it only at night if he seemed to need it.  Sure enough, he didn't have any other aggressive behaviors (anti-histamines can have that affect on some people, a warning to all those parents who want to drug out their kids with Benadryl....)

Now it seems that Zev is having a problem 'using his words'.  When he wants something, rather than ask for it, he will grab it.  And if someone else happens to be holding it, well, sucks to be them...don't they know its ZEV'S TOY?  If he does ask for something he says he 'wants that'
"That" (maybe there will be some vague point or wave of a hand). 
"Tell me what you want". 
"I want THAT". 
"What's that?" 
"I don't know".

Obviously descriptive words are not part of his vocabulary right now.  "I don't know" is the answer to everything:

"What's on the page"
"What did you have for lunch"
"What did you do today"

I believe its just cognitive laziness, as he can be quite insightful when he wants to be or if you ask him the right way.   Jason feels perhaps we haven't been stretching him as much as we should be....and perhaps he's right.  I admit to being a little too dependent on the daycare situation now:  I know they teach him things there and he does a lot of activities, so I've been rather slacking in the home activities.  We haven't been as good at reading together or doing crafts or games together.  Yes, I have the 'but I have TWINS' excuse...but at the same time I don't want Zev to suffer because I have two 1.5 year olds tugging on my pants 24/7.

So enough venting and time for some problem solving...

There is some time after dinner and before Zev's bedtime we could do some good story time.  The girls are already in bed at this point, and it is just Jason, Zev, and me.  Perfect time for some individual attention.  The limitation is that we are all rather sleepy, but it doesn't take long to read a few books (provided we choose the right books...what was I thinking when I got those Horton books???).  I also had bought some workbook activities we could try.

At school they are going to institute a sticker chart:  every time Zev uses his words to ask for something he gets a sticker.  His perception of reward isn't quite 100%, so I'm not entirely confident that he'll get the concept, but we'll see.

Meanwhile the girls are doing well.  Fighting playing together quite nicely.  As soon as I pick them up at daycare they come over to me (no, they are not walking!!!  They walk on their knees, which is cute but come on...stop being so lazy!!!) and cry and push each other out of the way so each can have sole access to mommy.  They fight over who gets to sit in my lap, fight over food if they both have access at the same time (Meorah actually grabbed the whole handful of Goldfish from my hand yesterday and pushed Tzelia away from her while walking (knee-ing?) away triumphantly), fight over toys they both want, etc.  But they also play together quite well, trying to feed each other, kiss each other, play peek-a-boo together.  Neither will sleep if the other isn't also in the room with her, which makes nap time a little tricky if one isn't sleepy.  But we manage.

Still little 'real' words, although their receptive language is fantastic.  Whether or not they listen is another story...

"Stop ignoring me, I know you know what I'm saying!  Come here!"

So far, words I know they understand

Vacuum (Our DustBuster is Tzelia's obsession)
Banana (what is it with kids and bananas?  It was Zev's first word)
Come here
"Who's here"? (which is what I say when I hear Jason coming up the steps outside)
"Diaper change!"

Tzelia 'speaks' more than Meorah.  I thought Jason was going to melt when she said "DA-DEE" after I handed her to him the other day.  Most of the time she just squawks loudly like a bird, and a really ugly one at that.  Meorah has a softer voice and often just repeats "AH BA BA BA BA BA BA" and then will make raspberry noises while pointing at things randomly...maybe this is where Zev learned it from...

A much longer update, but my opportunies to write seem to be few and far between these days....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

happy mother's day

And a happy one it was.

We have the tradition of doing Mothers Day Brunch at the Westford Regency, which is also where I had my Bat Mitzvah (gasp!) 20 years ago.  Its a very nice brunch:  buffet style, with an omelette, waffle, and carving stations.  Not too much kosher-friendly fare, but good nonetheless.

Me and my cherubs:

Grammie and the Girls

Zev and Grammie (he looks just like his daddy)

Aunt Julia and Tzelia (check out the eyelashes on her!)

I haven't been able to post too many pictures recently because we've been slacking on getting them off the camera and phones.  So I'll make a big picture post soon.

Update-wise, things are going well.  We think Zev has allergies and have resorted to giving him Claritin occasionally.  When we gave it to him in the morning, Jason ended up in his first 'parent/child' conference:  seems Zev was pushing and hitting others.  Since aggression can be a side-effect, we decided that when we do give it to him, to limit it to the night-time, so the effect is on the downside of the pK curve (can ya tell I work at a pharma company?).  He is thriving in daycare and I find it hilarious that he has all these new phrases he didn't have before.  The girls are doing equally well, although not walking yet (!!!!).  Just a matter of time.  We're back in our routine.

On my side, I seem to have bronchitis.  I've been coughing non-stop for the last few weeks.  And now I find that my abdomen is particularly sore, which I am attributing to all the coughing.  I'm debating calling my surgeon to go visit him; recovery from an abdominoplasty can take a year, so I am still under his care.  I know someone who broke a rib from coughing too much when she had pneumonia, and while the coughing hasn't been that severe, it has been daily all day, and that's a lot of 'use'.  I just don't have a lot of time as it is and don't want to make an appointment...

But I'll probably bite the bullet if the pain doesn't go away in a day or so.  I can't make an appointment for this week anyway:  too busy at work.  And then too busy at usual.

Friday, April 29, 2011

First year molars and utter exhaustion

I don't remember ever being this tired.  I sure I have been...after the Zev or the girls were born, etc.  But it has been a LONG LONG time.

Jason has a conference here in Boston for the Oncology Nursing Society.  So I was supposed to pick up the girls and Zev after work yesterday.  I went (in the rain, of course!!) to get the girls first, and found Meorah screaming in the arms of one of the caregivers.  Apparently she started crying about ten minutes prior to my arrival, with no obvious reason.  Since I still had to get Zev, I just put both girls in their stroller and ran through the rain to Zev's building.  It was easy picking him up, and we drove home, with Meorah screaming most of the way.

She was inconsolable at home, refusing dinner.  I couldn't even attempt to put her down without her screaming.  Zev, with the lack of empathy that comes with being three, kept asking for dinner and I had to do my best to make him something while holding Meorah (where was Tzelia during all this?  She has recently discovered a love for dragging a blanket around and sucking her thumb while walking on her knees...think 'Linus' from she was somewhere doing that with her coat still on).  I got some Tylenol into Meorah and called Jason, telling him he had to come home ASAP.

Since God hates me, by the time he showed up Meorah was acting fine.  The Tylenol had kicked in.  We still had no idea what was wrong:  I had managed to take her temperature, but she didn't have one.  She ate and went to bed.

We were awakened at 1am by her screaming.  The rest of the night is somewhat of a blurr...I know she went back to sleep after we comforted her, and awoke again at 3am.  Jason went into her room and then yelled to me that he didn't know what was wrong with her:  she refused to calm down and was now spasming every few seconds or so.  We brought her into our room, which did help her calm down.  As long as she was laying on me she stayed relatively quiet, but still spasming ocassionally.  It was now after 3am.  Jason called the on-call doc at our pediatrician's office, and the nurse said the spasms were actually not abnormal and babies often did that if they were very upset.  We made an appointment for the following morning to bring her in.  After awhile she did calm down enough to be put back in her own crib in her room.

And in the morning she was all smiles.  Tired, but no problems having breakfast, and laughing and singing to herself as we drove to daycare.  We ended up cancelling the appointment...gave her some Motrin and hoped for the best, leaving her at daycare.

Molars coming in?  That's my best guess.  They are supposed to come in around one year of age, and she's almost 17 months, 14.5 adjusted.  If she'll let me, I'm going to take a look at her mouth tonight.

But in the meantime, I'm absolutely exhausted.  I still got up at five to go to the gym and lift (I originally wasn't going to, but I was awake anyway, so figured I may as well go even if it means going through the motions...I'm a sucker for routine).  I also have a cold, which doesn't help.  Ugh.  Seriously, seriously dragging along.  You don't want to know how many pots cups of coffee I've had today.  And I have a bottle of caffeine powder in my lab that has been teasing me....

Luckily its Friday so tonight is laid back.  I don't have to 'prep' anything for tomorrow.  Jason is going to be out all day at the conference, so it will just be me and the kids.  I asked a few people if they wanted to hang out, but most are busy.  Its supposed to be a nice day, so I think we'll play in the yard for awhile.  I may try to do some yard clean-up if they'll let me.  We'll see.

All I want to do is lay on the couch and watch a movie with Jason.  That sounds heavenly about now....

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Haven't done some in awhile.

That last one is a picture of us when all three of them were sick.  Lovely, huh?  Great expression on my face...

Life is....stressful.  What else is new.  Having a nice Passover, though.  We did a little seder at home with just the five of us.  A very very very short one.  Just long enough until the girls started screaming to go to bed.  I'm not sure how much Zev got out of it, but it was amusing watching him eat horseradish root.  "Spicy!!"

Off to dinner tonight at some friend's house for a passover-friendly dinner.  Then back to the grind for Monday.  And it is quite a grind....

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Daycare week 2

Four full days of day care = three sick children.

The week ended with all three children having horrible fevers.  My mother in law came to visit last weekend and we had a really nice day out at the local zoo in the afternoon.  One of our 'groupon' buys last year was a zoo membership, so we get to go there for free now.  I had never been to this particular zoo (Franklin Park Zoo) and it was actually quite nice.  We wandered around a little bit and then let the kids play in one of the little playground areas they have there.  In the evening, my mother met us and we went out to dinner at a local Japanese restaurant we really like but rarely get to go to (Minado).  Jason and I love this place but since its a buffet, unless we have other adults with us we cannot go with the children.  And, it is rather $$$!  But the food is excellent and it is always crowded and very popular.

So while Saturday was lovely, Sunday we woke up with three sick children.  Zev spent the entire day zoned out on the couch with this grandmother.  Jason and I escaped for a nice lunch out while she watched the kids (thanks!!).  The girls ended up having fevers that evening, so I agreed to stay home with them.  We did end up taking them to the doctors Monday morning, and both girls have ear infections.  Jason stayed home with all three kids on Tuesday, and everyone was back to work/daycare by Wed.


Zev is still coughing a LOT.  He had been on antibiotics and Flonaze for three weeks with sinusitis, but he still sounds horrific.  We're going to give him a few more days and if it doesn't improve, take him to the doctor as well.  He has a horrible wet cough.  The girls, finally, are perked up and feeling better, but it is an...adventure...trying to get them to take their antibiotics.  Its a two person job:  one of us has to hold them down while the other forces their jaw open to drop the medicine in while the poor thing is crying and squirming.  This stuff is supposed to taste good, but they REFUSE to take it unless you force it in.  At least we only have a few more days of that.

I went to my 'moms of multiples' group the other evening and am now the 'Welcoming Chair' for my group.  I had wanted to be a more active member a few months ago, so when the current chair stepped down, the president asked me if I wanted to step in.  I said sure.  It isn't that difficult a job:  before each monthly meeting with have 'age based discussion rooms', where you go into a room with other MoMs with twins the same age and chat for an hour.  They are moderated by volunteers, so I just have to make sure each room has a designated moderator.  I also will continue to run the mentoring program and make sure we have someone call new members when new members join to officially 'welcome' them into the club.  I also go to board meetings and get to see more of the 'behind the scenes' issues in the club.  I thought it would be nice to do:  I get to talk to adults, feel like I'm contributing, and have an 'outside interest' other than work.

I sometimes forget that being a twin mom is somewhat 'special' and unique.  It isn't until I talk to other mothers of twins that I realize how neat it really is.  Its just reality to me.  It isn't until I'm out in the world and I'm stopped every 5 feet by a stranger ("you must have your hands full/are they twins/God bless you (my favorite)/you're supermom/etc") that I remember how different it is.

Its also very $$.  Money continues to be a big stressor for us right now.  We're considering getting rid of a car and our cable.  We have cut out going out to dinner unless we already have a coupon.  I'm keeping a close eye on our grocery budget, but luckily we already don't buy any real 'junk', so there isn't much to cut down on.  Jason may be able to start working some weekend shifts at a local hospital starting in July, and that will be very helpful.

And I suppose we could always sell a kid.  Meorah is probably worth the most since she's the easiest, but I could argue that Tzelia is the better long-term investment:  she's definitely very smart and analytical already and has MIT or something similar in her future. So if you're willing to put her with her drama-queen antics in the first few years, I think you'd end up with a better deal with her financially.

Or you could take Zev.  He's about 90% potty-trained and already somewhat broken-in.  We could work out a deal.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Daycare week 1

The kids started daycare this week.  It is going to be a gradual transition.  On Monday, they were there for two hours, and on Tuesday they were there for four hours.  Today (Wed) the teachers have a meeting, so I am home with them.  Tomorrow they will be there for six hours, and then they will be there full-time by Friday.

My thoughts so far:

Zev:  Zev is in love.  The first day we brought him in, he took one look at the toys and didn't even say good-bye.  He was off and running.  It helps that he had friends there.  The father of one of them emailed me later that day and told me when he dropped off his daughter,  "Zev was having the time of his life, and he and Ellie were thrilled to see each other".  He did tell me that evening that "I was looking for mommy and she wasn't there".  I told him mommy didn't go to school anymore and that she went to work.  The second day he almost exploded with excitement when we pulled up.

I think he'll be fine.

The girls:  No worries there either.  No crying, no yelling, no sobbing when we left.  The director was surprised.  They got 'A+s' on their sheet.  Did great both days.  The teachers expect Meorah to walk any day now...they are working on it with her already.  They say that Tzelia is the fastest one there, even though she isn't walking (doesn't surprise me...the girl is FAST!).

They'll be fine.

What can I say:  there are no introverts in my family.  Social butterflies and flirts, all of them.

More practical stuff:  It is a PAIN packing everything up the day before.  Snacks, milk, diapers, etc.  Ugh.  It makes the evenings much more difficult and the mornings a bit more complicated.  Drop off can be anytime between 7 and 8.  Previously, Nicole was coming over around 8:15-30, and now we need to be out of the house by 7:30.  So the kids' schedule has moved up half an hour.  I still get up at the same time, but it means the morning routine is slightly more rushed.

It also doesn't help that the kids are actually in different buildings across the street from each other.  What we are planning on doing:  we all go in the minivan to drop off the kids.  Jason will take Zev or the girls, and I will take the other.  Jason will then continue to work from there (its a 20 minute walk or a 5 minute bus ride) and I will continue to work from there in the minivan; the daycare is slightly out of my way, but not horribly.  For pick-up, either we'll meet there together, or I'll go pick up the girls and Jason can pick up Zev himself and they can both take the bus.  We haven't figured that out yet.

Overall it was a good choice.  Zev will get a lot out of it and I think the girls will too.

We are still trying to set up a 'good-bye' conversation with Nicole over the phone.  We have been playing phone tag.  She sent me an email a few days ago asking how the kids were doing and saying how much she missed them and thought about them every day.  We got contacted by the DA's office, who wants to know if we are interested in continuing the trial.  While it isn't our decision, they will take our opinion into consideration.  Her pre-trial hearing is in May.

So things are settling into their new normal.  Slowly but surely....

On an unrelated note, I"m so glad its spring again.  This cold weather is just killing me.  And, I am going to my first board meeting for my moms of multiples group tonight:  they asked me to be the support chair since the old one was moving and I said sure.  I like being involved and it will be nice to become more familiar with some of the women in my group.  Not that I need more things on my schedule.....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Continuing the update

First, thank you for the support.  Its amazing how many people have come out to talk to me.  People I run into are shocked...some of them had even seen the report and were surprised:  "That was YOU??!"

I am lucky to have support at work and from friends and family.  Its been a long week.

I had set up some interviews with possible nannies and Jason and I also decided to check out a local daycare that friends of ours use.  This is the third time I've had to do a nanny search, and for those who have never done it....its exhausting.  I'm a member of, and I posted an ad and received easily over a dozen responses.  Then I made the mistake decision to post an ad on craigslist, and all the crazies came out.  It was a full time job sorting through them this economy everyone is looking for a job.

So I saw one girl alone when I was home with the kids on Wed afternoon.  She was ok...a former au pair whose English was only so-so.  Not ideal.  Then we had another girl come Wed night and Jason and I spoke to her.  She was fine.  Young, would probably do a good job.  It reminded me of when we were looking for a summer nanny...the kind of girls I had coming over are similar to Meredith:  young, some experience but not a ton, lots of enthusiasm, etc.  And cheap.  Ha.

Then we saw the daycare on Thursday afternoon.  Its a private daycare run by a nice woman from Peru.  A very open and loosely styled facility, but also with the proper amount of structure.  Lots of activities for all the ages.  She is willing to barter with us, so we would actually pay less than her going rate (I know people in the US are usually afraid to ask for discounts, but you'd be surprised by how many people are willing to work with you).  The time is great:  7am to 6pm.  It is more money than we were paying Nicole, so that would be a major downside.  Also, the practicalities of getting three children out the door and to a daycare are more involved than simply having a nanny come over.  The daycare is on the way to Jason's work, so we would all go, drop off the children, and then we would each go to work.  We could probably do something similar for pick-up.

I had scheduled someone to come Thursday night, but she was a no-show.  Jason saw a CPA Thursday  night concerning our taxes.  We are totally screwed for this year (long story, but our increase in salary means we lost some deductions and we now owe somewhere in the four-figure range to the government this year).  While we can't fix that, we can figure out what we need to do for next year to prevent it from happening again.  Unfortunately it will probably mean even LESS out of our paychecks, which is horrible timing when we're already considering a more expensive daycare option.

We've gone back and forth on the pros/cons of nanny vs daycare.  But what it really comes down to is:  what is best for the kids?  Obviously we can't make a choice that will totally bankrupt us, but we are willing to be a little 'in the red' for the next two-three years while all three of the kids are in daycare.  Zev is three, so we've got just a few years where this will be an issue.  Once he's five he'll be in public school.

Our decision so far:  we're going to try the daycare for six months.  We'll see how the money works out. And if it isn't working, we can then take our time to find a good nanny rather than rushing through the process right now.  In the meantime we are doing MAJOR budget examinations to see what we can cut down on.  We already stopped going out to eat, but there are other things we can try:  getting rid of cable (we can use Hulu or some other program to download the one or two programs we watch..we actually don't really watch TV and I'd be fine not watching it at all), getting rid of one of our cars, decreasing our membership to the YMCA to a single + family or just single for me, etc.  Little changes that add up.  I'm going to go through our groceries and see if we could possibly get cheaper options at Costco and do some comparison shopping.  We already use cloth diapers and I already get most of the children's clothes used.  Our main output (other than mortgage and childcare) are groceries and health-related things, which we could also possibly cut back on.

I do feel better now that we have a tentative plan.  Department of Family Services is doing a home-visit on Thursday.  We spoke to Nicole on Monday night to officially let her know she was fired.  Jason spoke to a social worker to get some advice on how to handle this and we spoke to Zev and told him that Nikki would not be coming to see him anymore; she is going to stay home to watch her daughter, but she loves him and misses him.  We also asked him if he remembered being in the car (and this is where I almost cried):

Jason:  Zev, do you remember being in the car?
Zev:  Yes, I was in the car and I wanted to get out and I was crying
Jason:  Well, Zev, that was not supposed to happen.  You are not supposed to be left alone in a car.  That was a mistake.  If someone leaves you in a car alone, you need to tell Mommy or Daddy, ok?
Zev: can't play with playdough when the sisters are downstairs or they'll try to eat it

(obviously he wasn't paying all that much attention to the conversation)

We're going to try to have him talk to Nikki on the phone so he can say good-bye.

Its just very sad.  But I am feeling better...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Horrible update

I haven't updated because we've been in crisis mode.

My nanny was arrested last Thursday.

I got a call from my husband on my way home from work:  she was arrested for leaving the children in our locked minivan.  The kids were being transported to the ER at a local hospital.  That was all he knew at the time, but I was to go to the hospital to meet them all there.

Great.  WTF?

Long story short:  Nicole had had the kids in the minivan and stopped on her way to pick up her daughter at a local strip mall near her house.  She left the kids in the minivan.  People saw the three children in the car alone, and started to panic.  Someone called the cops and some EMTs also arrived.  That was when she came out of the mall and was arrested.  The children were taken out of the minivan and transported to the hospital to be looked at.  Nicole was arrested and taken away.  It was all caught on a local news station and played on that afternoon news, the evening news, and the afternoon news the following day.  Close-ups of them arresting Nicole, taking my kids out of my car (faces blurred, obviously), etc.

They are estimating the kids were in the car for anywhere from 35-45 minutes.  It was about 60 degrees outside, and they all had temps of just over 99 when the EMTs got to them.  According to the news report they were red, flushed, sweaty, and crying.  We ended up in the ER for a few hours because the cops left the minivan in the parking lot, and we didn't have anything to go pick up Jason had to drive home to get our second pair of keys, go get the minivan, leave my car in the lot, and then drive back to the hospital so we could install the car seats the EMTs removed, take everyone back to the parking lot to pick up my car, and then go home.

The kids are fine.  The ER at the hospital was incredible.  They made us sandwiches, got us apple juice, put on a movie, and got me a college volunteer to help play with my kids while I freaked out in the corner of the room.

Nicole went to court the following day and was formally charged with abuse and neglect.  She has a 'stay away' order and cannot come near my children until her next court date in May.

Obviously she can no longer work for us.  I fluctuate between depression and anger.  I was furious all day Friday and Saturday.  Then I was depressed.  Then furious again.  We spoke to her last night to let her know formally we couldn't keep her on.  Department of Family Services has opened a case and they will be doing a home visit with us.  We haven't heard from the cops at all, and I haven't even read the official police report:  all I know is what I saw on the news (which I keep watching over and over again...).

I feel bad for her.  I feel bad for my kids.  I feel bad for myself and Jason who now have to find another nanny ASAP.  I have already set up interviews.  We're also looking into daycares just to explore that option.

And that's all I have to say about that right now......  Just....WTF.....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

being the mother of twins...

I never thought I'd say it, but its actually sometimes easier being a mother of multiples than a mother of a singleton.

Jason had taken Zev out yesterday morning for most of the morning.  I got the girls up, fed them breakfast, and then it was just the three of us.  Unlike when Zev was a young toddler and I would have to entertain him, the girls actually just entertained each other.  I was able to do some cleaning and some organizing while they played with each OTHER, chasing each other around the rooms, playing with blocks together, playing peek-a-boo in and out of a box together, etc.  It was quite cute.  And once again I became a little envious...that 'twin' relationship is pretty special.  They are learning very early how to play with others and have already developed a very special bond even though they are only a year old.  Its really nice to watch.

This is something I worry about for Zev:  since he isn't in daycare, he doesn't get as much of a chance to play with children his age.  Yesterday we had a playdate with a neighbor who has boy twins his age.  She also has a nanny, so is in the same predicament.  We chatted a bit about to keep the boys active, different activities that are local we could get involved in, how to have them play with others, and the limitations of having a nanny.  She is pregnant and having her third, so soon she'll be in the same boat I was in a few months ago, when it even becomes difficult for the nanny to get out of the house with a young baby as well as the twins.  Poor Nicole has been pretty stuck in the house with the girls being so young and the weather so bad.  But finally the weather is getting better, and I hope she can get out more.  I did find a playgroup for her to check out, and Zev is in a class on Wed mornings at our YMCA that is an intro-to-sports class.  I think that, and playing at local parks once the weather gets better, will help.

I was asked to be a board member of my local Moms of Multiples club, doing the Support Chair.  I'm still considering it.  It would basically mean making sure the support group meetings have their leaders (our monthly meetings start out broken into groups by age, and my job would just be to make sure that each group has their leader available, and if not that the back-up is there).  I could do that.  There are actually only a few meetings left in the year, since we don't meet over the summer.  I like being involved.  My only hesitations are that I don't get a chance to get to the monthly meetings all the time since they are a bit of a commute for me, and that I don't really 'define' myself as a 'twin mom' like many do.  Maybe because I already had a child?  But while my girls are great, I'm not really into the 'twin-thing'...I don't buy matching clothes, or try to find 'twin' things.  But at the same time, I think being more involved would be nice. I suppose I could try it, I just don't want to make the commitment and not be able to keep it.

Not too much else.  Busy busy.  Work has now become even more stressful, but that's a post for another time.  Having more financial issues, which is worrisome.  I suppose that's just never going to go away, though.  We're in the yucky situation where we make too much money to take advantage of certain benefits, but not enough to retire young.  Wouldn't that be nice.....

Friday, February 25, 2011


Finally updated my iPhoto....

Zev has been wanting to take a bath with his sisters.  I tell him he's going to regret that some day...

I have no idea what she's eating here.

 Pretty sure that's either cottage cheese or cream cheese on her face.

Zev has started climbing into bed with us in the middle of the  night.  I actually don't mind it, even though he snores like an obese man with sleep apnea.

Its hard to believe how different they look.  You'd never guess they were sisters, never mind twins.

They're all getting so big.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

home again with the kiddos

Nicole's daughter was sick this morning, so I had to stay home with the kiddos.  The girls are currently napping and Zev is watching the Muppet Movie.  So I'm a bad mom.  Sue me.

I have to upload some pictures...we've actually been taking a few.  The girls are getting bigger and bigger.  Well, Meorah is getting bigger and bigger.  Tzelia still hasn't broken 17 lbs.  We did finally switch out the car seats, so both girls are now in convertible car seats.  Still rear-facing, which makes it a big pain to put them in and out of the car, but rear-facing is the safest.  We have the girls in the third row and Zev in the captain's chair in the second row.  Unfortunately we have to use this set-up since Nicole needs the second captain's chair for her daughter when she brings my kids to pick up her daughter from day care on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It would probably be easier to have Zev in the third row, but that's not an option.  Oh well.

Tzelia has turned into quite the bully.  For a little thing, she has a mean streak in her.  Last night I caught her beating Meorah in the head with her sippy cup, and we have a great video of her beating Meorah with a take-out container.  If Meorah has a toy she wants, she'll just rip it out of her hands.  Meorah doesn't stand up for herself, which she really should learn how to do.  I encourage her to smack her back (ha), but she just sits there and cries, looking for help.

(I really do intervene and comfort her, so don't think I'm completely heartless)

Zev is still working on potty-training.  He's great at peeing while he's at home, but needs encouragement to actually poop in the potty.  When we're out in public, we put him in underwear and plastic pants (pull-ups are too much like diapers, IMO, so I don't use them) and try to remember to bring him into a bathroom every half hour or so.  Its a process....  Its hard for him when he's busy playing because he isn't thinking about it.  We had a pot-luck brunch this last weekend and he did have one accident.  We're getting there.

Yes, we had a brunch.  We have a lot of friends with kids around the same age as ours, so we thought it would be fun to have a bunch of people over with their kids and try to get a regular brunch going.  It was a lot of fun.  Our house was trashed, but it was worth it.  I think we ended up with about six or seven kids, plus their parents.  The kids all played very well together.  Hopefully someone will offer to host another one in a few weeks.

Not too much else.  Just hanging in there.  Every day is like another...which for now is a good thing...

Monday, February 7, 2011

catching up

No photos, but I haven't written in awhile so I thought I should try to catch up with a few things.

On a fun note, Jason and I actually went out for a date this past Saturday.  GASP, OMG!!  Friends of ours were having a combined birthday party, so we went out to dinner and then went to the party.  Honestly, I wasn't expecting to last for very long and I warned Jason that I would probably start pooping out around 10pm.  We had a nice dinner and then got to the party...and next thing I knew it was 10:30.  I was shocked that I was still coherent.  We did leave then and I think I ended up getting to bed around midnight. 

How unlike me.  For once I actually didn't feel like a parent.

We had our old summer nanny come and babysit while we were out.  I would only trust two people other than myself and my husband to be able to put the kids to bed:  Nicole and Meredith.  So Meredith came over with her boyfriend and they hung out with the kids for about an hour, put them all to bed, ordered pizza and watched TV.  Easy night for them.  I'd tell you how much we paid them, but I shudder to think about it.  Lets just say it was more than our dinner out.

That's another reason why we don't go out much...

Jason took Zev to see the Muppet Movie Saturday morning.  It was playing as a 'family friendly' movie at a local independent theater and they went with some friends who have children his age.  It was a nice treat for him; we don't allow Zev to really watch TV, so he has no idea who many of the current cartoon characters are (and thus neither do I).  He knows Sesame Street, the Muppets, and Mickey Mouse through a lot of the songs that we play or books that we have.  But he doesn't watch any children's television.  So I initially had some doubts that he would be able to sit through a movie, but he did a good job.  He likes Kermit and Fozzie, and was actually Kermit for Halloween (if you see that post, I have a few pictures of him dressed up). 

I've been concerned that he hasn't been able to get out of the house that often, given the horrible snow.  Nicole can't really take all three out with the minivan in the current conditions, so Zev has been stuck at home.  I am trying to make more weekend plans for him to get out of the house, even if he can only go with one of us and the other stays home with his sisters.  And this way he also gets to spend some one-on-one time with each of us individually (and so do his sisters, but I think they care less about that).

The girls are doing very well.  Still a little concern about Tzelia and her size:  at 14 months she only weighs 16.25 lbs.  Meorah weighs 3 lbs more than she does, and while she is small as well, it makes Tzelia look absolutely tiny.  At that party, some friends had brought their 4 month old who weighed more than Tzelia (although granted, he was a big boy).  I'm not overly concerned, as she is healthy and does eat and drink well...she's very active (lethargy would be a bad sign) and very opinionated and extremely verbal.  They will have their 15 month appointment in a month or so, and we'll see what their doctor has to say about it.

More snow coming in this week.  I'm not sure how much longer I can take it....

Monday, January 31, 2011

becoming more mobile....

There's my happy girl....eating a bagel....

In the Emergency Room at Children's Hospital Boston.  Which is a nice way of saying that we learned (the hard way) that she can now climb a flight of stairs.

We usually go out to dinner on Saturday nights.  We have had many people say that we're brave for doing so (to which I usually say: its either this or they trash the house).  Around 5:30 on Saturday, I was getting ready to pack the diaper bag and went upstairs to go to the bathroom.  Zev, finding the bathroom habits of other people fascinating, followed me upstairs.  I didn't close the lower gate on the stairs because..well, the thought didn't even enter my head.  Jason was on the computer doing some IT assistance for a friend remotely.  While in the bathroom, I hear:  bang bang bang, CRASH, SCREAM, 'OH MY GOD', WAAIIILLLL...

I run downstairs and find Meorah on the floor and Jason already scooping her up.  Tzelia is kneeling next to her, and I assume Zev was somewhere behind me.  Meorah is screaming and her ear is bleeding.  Tzelia then starts to cry (out of sympathy?), and I pick her up.

Meorah (who is a mommy's girl) had tried to follow me upstairs and actually made it about 3/4 of the way.  At that point, she somehow tumbled all the way back down, heels over head, and hit the bottom of the stairs.  It looked like her ear was perferated, so Jason wanted to bring her to the Emergency Room ("Why you?"  "It makes more sense for me to do it".  "Why?"  "Because I'm the health care professional"), so he left with Meorah, leaving me with Tzelia and Zev.

Dinner plans abandoned.

They ended up staying in the Emergency Room for four hours for observation.  Meorah was fine (her ear was just scratched badly, but was bleeding a lot), but they wanted to watch her and make sure she was really ok.  That picture is her enjoying a bagel from Au Bon Pain, which luckily was still open.

Two lessons learned:  First, we now have to close the gate on the stairs.

Second, DAMN having only two kids in the house is a piece of cake!  I don't want to hear anyone who only has two children complain to me again.  I fed both Tzelia and Zev, we played awhile ("Don't hit your sister!  Daddy took the minivan so I can't take you to the hospital!"), and both kids were in bed by 8pm.  Nice and easy.

I did feel badly for Tzelia.  She was much quieter than sister to torment (yes, she is the bully of the two).  I think she missed her other half....  Its so nice to see them play together, and this was the first time they spent much time apart.  It was only a few hours, but they are ALWAYS together.  Jason told me later he actually enjoyed just being out with Meorah and spending 1-1 time with her.  We'll have to make it a habit to take them out individually, as hard as that may be.

And one final (although funny/awful) thought:  if I had to pick a child to fall down the stairs, I would pick Meorah.  She's the happiest of the three (see picture again).  I told Jason later:  We should be glad it wasn't Tzelia...the drama queen would never let us forget it.  She stubs her finger and she'll wail for an hour.  She'd still be bitching about falling down the stairs at her 13th birthday party....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter WTF?

I'm from MA originally.  I grew up in northern MA, went to college outside of Boston, and minus a few years spent out in Indianapolis, have lived here my whole life.  So you would think I'd be used to the winter and snow.

But seriously....WTF?

In the last three weeks, we've been hit with three major snow storms.  For the last two, I stayed home with the kids since our nanny couldn't make it in (or rather, we told her not to come for her own driving safety).  Since Jason is an 'essential employee', that usually means by default I have to stay home. 

But not today.  I've been feeling extremely guilty about missing so much work.  So we agreed that for the next storm, I could go into work and he would stay home.  I stayed home long enough for him to shovel out our driveway and cars and got myself into work.  Only two hours late, which isn't bad considering the level of snow outside.  I still debated going in: I have a bad cold and don't have anything essential that has to be done today.  But I thought it would be more important to show my face and knew that it was going to be a quiet day since about 30% of people were probably going to have to stay home.

As I was deciding whether or not to come into work, Jason told me if I did not to worry about him because 'he would be fine with the kids'.  Which leads me to this post:

Of course he would.  The thought never entered my mind otherwise.  And I think that's something that makes our family a little unusual.

Most of my (girl) friends with kids complain about their husbands.  Now, I may complain as well, but my complaints mainly center around his inability to put things away (laundry, the can opener, opened mail that is left sitting around which obviously is just spam, etc).  But one thing I never have to complain about is his parenting.  He is a very involved father, which I think (even in this day and age) is rather unusual.

Some of it is just a consequence of all the health problems I've had.  While on bedrest, I couldn't be a parent:  Jason had to take over all the parenting and cooking/cleaning for the three months I was out of commission.  After the girls were born, I had to recover from the c-section and the complications of that surgery.  That was follwed shortly by my bout of pneumonia, where I spent almost two weeks in bed.  And then again when I was in recovery for my surgery last fall and couldn't pick up anything for two months.  So of the last year, there was a good five months where I could not physically be a parent to my children.

And someone had to take over.  I felt horribly guilty at the time, and I know Jason was completely burnt out.  It was definitely not a fun period.  But never did I worry about his parenting skills.  Because even if I had not been out of commission, I believe it is just part of his personality to be such an active parent.  He is, after all, in a caring profession:  a nurse practioner.  Helping and caring for others is just what he does.  Now, we may not make the same parenting decisions, but his way isn't wrong and my way isn't right...they are just 'different'.  And the things we differ on are the small things that really don't matter too much anyway.

We probably are a good example of a 50/50 parenting relationship.  I do all the meal planning and cooking for the kids.  He does laundry (although it may take awhile for it to be put away....see above).  We both do discipline...but I think he's better at it than I am.  We both do the feeding, although while I was pumping he would do the majority of the girls' feeding.  In terms of household, I do the daily cleaning and he does a fair amount of 'major' cleaning when it needs to get done...mopping, scrubbing, etc.  He does the shoveling/trash while I do the groceries.  I put Zev to bed and he puts the girls to bed...and that seems to change daily on which one of those is the worst (although right now Zev seems to be winning, hands-down). 

So when people ask how I do it, I probably should answer:  with the help of my husband.  I really couldn't do it alone.  Perhaps when people ask, they are assuming I do it all alone...or at least 80% of it.  I can barely manage the 50% I do, so I have to give a shout out and a thank you to my husband...

Couldn't do it without you.  If you die, I'm going to have to kill you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Zev!!

My son turned three last week.  We had a little party for him:

Scary how that doll is the size of Tzelia...  who has yet to break 16 pounds, by the way.  Her sister outweighs her by about three pounds.  The little peanut...

Now that Zev is three, the pacifier has been taken away.  Its been a rough week.  I spent the few weeks up to his birthday telling him that once he was three, the 'wa-wa' (his pet name for it) goes away.  He only had been using it to sleep at night, and I was anticipating a rough transition.  I was right.  The first night resulted in an hour of screaming, ending in him sleeping in our bed.  The second night was another hour of screaming, both in his room and in the hall way, ending in me sitting on his floor next to his bed in the dark until he fell asleep.  The third night was a repeat of the second night.  The fourth night, I knew he wasn't going to fall asleep quickly, so after sitting with him for about ten minutes, I told him I needed to go have dinner, but that I would check in on him in a little bit.  Some more crying, but that seemed to work ok.  The fifth night was a repeat of the fourth night.  Night six there was no arguing after I told him I'd go back up and check on him.  Last night was the same.

So it seems things are slowly getting there.  Tonight will be one week, and hopefully it will continue to go well.

Thinking ahead, Tzelia doesn't use a pacifier at all:  she sucks her thumb when she sleeps.  Meorah does use a pacifier only when she sleeps, so we're going to have to come up with another plan for her in the future.

We're also working on pull-ups over underwear for Zev.  Great tip from a friend:  the problem with the pull-ups is that they are too much like diapers.  But you need the protection in case of accidents.  So we've been doing pull-ups over the underwear when we go out...this way he still feels it if he has an accident.  We've only been doing this the last few days, and while we're home he still runs around in his underwear and no pants to make it easy for him.  But he's gotten better at using his potty.  We're getting there.  Sometimes he'll take the initiative and sit by himself, and sometimes we have to remind him, but we get very few accidents at home now...the only time that's happened is when he's been really upset about something, and I think he just loses control while he's crying.

The girls are doing great.  Tzelia is beating up on Meorah, and its kind of interesting to see their personalities start to come out.  Tzelia is the dominant girl and will often grab things away from Meorah, who then just sits there and cries while looking up at you for help.  But usually they play together well.  My biggest issue with them right now is feeding:  they have different palates, and its a pain to try to figure out what to make them without making two completely different meals.  Once again, everything is just more complicated when you multiply it by two....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The terrible threes....again. And feeding twins.

Yes, he's almost three.  In two days he'll be three.

And today was a trying day.  Zev has been 'acting out' a bit:  throwing his toys, refusing to stop when told, and pushing his sisters when they get in his way or start to bother him.  He gets frustrated and can't tame his instincts.  I know that.  But at the same time, we can't allow him to do these sorts of behaviors.  This morning was a turntable of him hitting his sister, being told to have a time out, him refusing to sit in his 'time out area', Jason taking him upstairs and locking the gate, him screaming to be brought back downstairs, refusing to sit in his time out area again...rinse and repeat.  I know the key is consistency, but I admit its hard when he is so defiant.  Sigh.  Luckily mornings like these are few and he is generally a good boy and is pretty easy and behaves well.  Everyone has off days.

The girls are becoming so much fun, though.  They play 'peek-a-boo' with each other, which is just precious.  They will stand on either side of a door and peek at each other and laugh.  Tzelia now can wave good-bye, and I find that adorable.  Meorah hasn't done that yet...she just claps all the time:  'I'll stick with what I know'.  And it seems that Tzelia is gaining weight again, thank goodness.  I've been working on expanding their food choices...some failures but some successes.  Its pretty hard feeding twins...they each have very different palates and very different food behaviors.  Meorah will shove anything in her mouth.  But, if she doesn't like it, you have to watch out:  she'll spit it right in your face.  Projectile.  And then laugh.  Tzelia will slowly examine every new food closely, put it to the tip of her tongue, and then if she doesn't want it, fling it across the room.  She loves bread, which Meorah likes 50% of the time.  Meorah hates being spoonfed, but Tzelia will without a problem.  The only thing they agree on is bananas:  definitely the #1 food for both.  Watching their reactions to even seeing a banana is hysterical.  You would think they won the lottery.

I've been sick the last few days.  I took off Friday in hopes to nip it in the bud, but that was pretty much a failure.  I did sleep in a bit this weekend, which I never do.  I'm trying to get better at rest when I need it...something I definitely need practice on.

But back to work tomorrow.... hopefully I'll be feeling a bit better then.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

A few days ago....  but lets not be too anal.

We didn't do anything for the new year.  With three children under three, staying up until midnight is not a goal of mine.  In fact, it generally means something has gone horribly wrong.  If I can be asleep by 10:30, I am a happy camper.

So we didn't do too much.  I did want to go to a local zoo:  they have an exhibit called 'Zoo Lights' they run from Thanksgiving - New Years, with lots of Christmas lights on some of the exhibits.  It doesn't start until 5pm, so I couldn't recommend it to our nanny for an activity.  We went there and spent about an hour walking through their lights display and riding a carousel.  They had a big display of Santa Claus, to which Zev asked (rather loudly) "Who is that?".  I said, "His name is Santa Claus", and left it at that.  At some point I'll have to explain the whole 'Christmas thing', but he's too young to understand it anyway.  I've been calling the lights 'Holiday lights' when we've been driving around at night, and he likes them.  I don't bother to explain them, and being only three, he didn't ask.  Now he's noticed they are gone, and I just tell him the holiday is over and they'll be back next year.

After the Zoo Lights, we went out to dinner.  The girls are now big enough to sit in high chairs, so dinner has become rather fun.  They love sitting across from each other and interacting with us, and its fun to give them spoons and straws to play with.  We went out to dinner the following evening with my father and sister for my sister's birthday, and again had a really good time with them.  Tzelia has actually been drinking much better and has gained weight.  She's also been happier, so we think it may have been a teething issue:  she now has 4 teeth, compared to Meorah's 2.  She weighed in at just under 16 lbs yesterday, having gained about 5 ounces this past week.  Whew.

Jason has been sick for two weeks, but it looks like he's finally coming around the bend.  I've been courting some virus and actually spent a fair amount of yesterday in bed.  I try not to feel guilty about that.  I have today off and have been spending it on my 'to do list'.  Jason told me to do something fun, but crossing things off my list IS fun for me.  Not very restful, I'll admit, but things need to be done and I never have the time to do them.  Weekends are family time, not 'clean out under our bed and battle the dust-bunnies' time.  Or, my next to do: 'scavenger hunt for all the missing pacifiers' is it I KNOW we have at least a dozen, but I can only find three at any given time?

Do I have any resolutions?  It is that time of year...

Believe it or not, I am trying to relax more.  I do feel less guilty when I relax on weekends.  That's an improvement.  I find my stress level decreasing some, but that could also be the anti-anxiety meds I put myself on...gotta love the drugs.  I'm not ashamed of being on them:  I work full time, have three young children, am a home owner, and am an employer myself.  I've been on Celexa in the past, and recently I've been feeling even more stressed than normal.  I asked Jason if he thought I was anxious, and he said I radiated anxiety whenever I walked into a room.  Not a good sign.  So a month ago I asked for a prescription again from my primary physician.  The other day I asked Jason if he noticed a difference, and he made no hesitation in saying yes:  I no longer have a scattered 'busy' look all the time...before I was always looking for something to do, always distracted, always moving and vibrating.  Now I'm able to sit much more easily.  I think that's a good sign.  So I think my main resolution is to continue to try to relax and be mindful.  Enjoy my family time with my husband and children and try not to let the 'small stuff' overwhelm me too much.  I'm going to start seeing my therapist again (tomorrow) and will chat with her about how often to meet up to try to keep things under control.  I want to try to come up with some strategies to continue to keep my daily stress at bay and stay as emotionally and physically healthy as I can.  2010 was a bitch of a year, both physically and mentally.  I'd like 2011 to not follow in those foot-steps.

Happy be-lated new year.