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.