September 18, 2014 · filed under life

yesterday, today, tomorrow

Thanks for the blog post idea, Jen!

Yesterday…

I got my new fall/winter boots in the mail! I admit I’ve been shopping more than usual lately. I need to get some winter clothes for me, winter clothes for the boys, and fancy clothes for two upcoming weddings. I found these boots at Kohl’s and I’m really happy with them! What do you think? (Aside from the fact that they totally match my floors. I seriously need to hang a full length mirror somewhere in my house so I can take a legit photo.)

photo.JPG

Today…

I put on a dress and makeup and did my hair, left the kiddos with my parents for the evening, and went to a gala dinner for an ovarian cancer organization. I honestly didn’t know much about ovarian cancer before tonight, but I was very touched by the speakers at the event and got emotional a couple of times. The keynote speaker was 33 when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. That’s my age!

Did you know that ovarian cancer is not something that’s screened for at your annual gyn exam?! Really the best/only way to be diagnosed early is to pay attention to any weirdness going on. 95% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer had 1 or more of these four common symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

Those symptoms seem so…mundane. It worries me that there is no other screening/testing for something that is not uncommon. Sorry to get all serious about a really crappy disease, but if prevention and knowledge is the only thing that might lead to an early stage diagnosis, I wanted to share what I learned. (You can learn lots more here.) Thank you to my friend K for taking me tonight!

Tomorrow…

is a busy day. In the morning we are starting the process for speech therapy for Holden. To be honest, I am really not worried about the little guy, but we took him in for a (free) evaluation and he was about 5-6 months behind in expressive language, so he qualified for (free) speech therapy IN OUR HOUSE. So I can literally be in my yoga pants and they will come to my house and help me with my kid, for FREE? We said yes. (And I know it’s not really free, because this is what taxes pay for, but I’m happy that these resources exist.)

In the afternoon/evening, I am helping my mom photograph a wedding, or as it’s called in the business, “being a second shooter.” This is my second time being a second shooter, and I’m excited and nervous! I don’t really have any desire to be a wedding photographer, but I like weddings, and I like taking pictures, and it’s a fun and different experience from my normal day.

This is my fave photo that I took from the first wedding I did. It kind of helped that the bride was basically a supermodel.

wedding photo

{actual photo credit}

What are you lovelies up to today, tomorrow, or yesterday?


September 15, 2014 · filed under family, life

5 things that have surprised me about motherhood

I’m totally happy being a boy mom.

I grew up with one sister, so I imagined myself having little girls. I understand sister dynamics, and it just seemed normal to me. When we found out the twins were boys, I struggled for a few weeks knowing I’d never have a daughter. It was easier with Miller because I knew there was a chance for a daughter with our second kid, but with the twins, that was it.

Now that my boys are here, of course, I can’t imagine it any other way and I feel so happy to be a boy mom. I feel somewhat relieved to not have to deal with princess stuff and the pinkification of everything for girls. I am relieved to not have to navigate a daughter through middle school and mean girls. The only thing I feel a bit sad about is not being able to do fun hairdos with a daughter. And I worry a little bit about when the boys are adults, if we will have a close relationship or if that’s harder for mothers and sons (and potential grandkids). I’m so happy for my boys that they have each other and I’m eager to witness a lifelong brother relationship.

I’m happy to have two kids.

I am one of those crazy people who loves babies. I am at my happiest buried under a pile of babies. I get sad about every month of babyhood ending, and I honestly am really sad I will never have another snuggly four-month-old. I’m pretty sure I cried when the twins were 3 weeks old because I’d never have another 3 week old. If, by some chance, another baby fell from the sky into my lap (and it slept through the night) then I’d probably be pretty happy. But our babymaking days are over, and I’m okay with that. I have ZERO desire to go through fertility treatments or be pregnant again. I would love to have a chance to actually succeed at breastfeeding, but I don’t want it badly enough to try again (and I ESPECIALLY don’t ever want to use a pump again). I hope that we will be able to give our two kids the love, attention, and resources (hello, college tuition) that they need without stretching ourselves thin.

(As I’m re-reading this, I hope none of it comes across as the right way to feel about things. This is just what I feel about me and my own preferences and limitations. If you have a family with 6 daughters I’d love to come over and French braid all of their hair while talking about the Little Mermaid (not kidding!)).

This parenting gig is RELENTLESS.

Being a mom, and a stay-at-home mom for the time being, is my dream job. And this is not news to anyone who is a parent, but it’s really, really hard. It’s hard in a way that I couldn’t have really understood pre-parenthood. I used to spend A LOT of time being lazy, napping, exercising (okay maybe not a LOT but I could have), talking on the phone in peace, running errands in peace, going to happy hour, etc. Now if I want to do any of those things, I have to plan in advance for either Andrew or my mom or my babysitter to watch the kids. My ability to do anything spontaneously is near zero. I’m not really complaining because I know this is all temporary, it’s just something where the neverendingness of it surprised me. Also, the neverending cleaning, feeding, cleaning, feeding, and cleaning. That is probably harder for me to deal with than the lack of freedom.

I care approximately 0% how my kids were born.

I remember way back in the day watching the Ricki Lake documentary on birth and being like, “I’m going to have a natural birth!” and then the joke was on me because I had surgery that necessitated that all future children would be born by C-Section. So when I finally got pregnant, there was no debate. No birthing class, no birth plan, nothing. I can totally see why a C-Section would be a less than optimal experience for someone who didn’t want one or didn’t plan to have one. But because I essentially always knew I’d have one, there was no mental turmoil over it. I wouldn’t say my twin birth experience was very good, but it was fine and it resulted in two healthy, living babies. So I’ve never really given it much more thought than that.

I thought it would be easier to be tough.

The best example I can think of for this is that my kids have had separation anxiety for a full year now. And instead of attempting to deal with it in some way other than figure they will grow out of it eventually, I just don’t leave them very often. Sigh. And when I do leave them, it’s with a family member or one trusted babysitter. And I rarely have anyone else put them down for naps/bedtime because they just don’t deal well with it. I never take them to the gym child care, even though I could, because the one time I took them they cried hard for 30 minutes. Pre-parent Janet would have been like, “Toughen up, everyone! The children will be FINE. Drop the children off and go run on the damn treadmill!” But mom-Janet is a huge weenie who doesn’t want to think about her kids crying for 30 minutes with a stranger. The more I talk to other moms, the more I realize that things like daycare dropoff sadness or separation anxiety are totally normal and common, it just wasn’t something I was very prepared for.

I’m curious what has surprised YOU about being a mom or a dad? Please do share!


September 7, 2014 · filed under twins

22 months old

Wow, these boys have changed a LOT in the last couple of months. Total language explosion!

Toddler style from ThredUp. I've found some awesome clothes here, like new but not, for super good prices. http://www.thredup.com/r/M9D4UP (referral link for $10 for each of us)

Teddy spends about 25% of his awake time yelling “MAMA!” or “DADA!” on repeat until you answer him. He likes to know where we are all at times, and if one of us is not home, it doesn’t matter because he will keep yelling our names. He has also started to narrate what he is doing with little words. If he puts a book on top of his head, he says, “hat.” If he is eating something even barely lukewarm, he says, “hot.” He saw a bunny at the zoon and said, “hop!”

They paused for one millisecond so I could get this pic

Teddy will repeat ABCs with us as well. For D he says “dada” and for U he points to himself. He also likes the positive reenforcement of clapping every few letters.

Teddy

Holden is speaking a little less but he LOVES studying and learning letters. He points out every “H” he sees, and if he sees a letter “M” he will say, “Mama!” We have some letter flashcards and he likes to go through the whole deck and examine the letters and put them in an orderly stack.

Mr. No-Nap

They’ve made me well-aware of words and phrases I use too often: “Ooh! I know!” “Guys!” “Oh, man!” Other favorites are calling everything “MINE! MINE! MINE!” and also waving and saying “bye-bye” on hyper repeat.

We’ve spent the last few days with Grammy (“Mimi“) and Grandpa (“Da-ba“) and we call our babysitter Rachel “Ra-ra” and — the most hilarious thing ever — Teddy now calls Holden “Hobo.”

So I guess what I’m saying is 22 months is a fabulous age and I kind of hope they stay like this forever.

The boys usually wake up around 6:30 am and we start the day with a bottle of milk, coffee (for me), and some Curious George or Daniel Tiger. We have started taking a music class once a week and I think they are warming up to the concept. We also go to the library, the park, or my sister’s house pretty often.

Favorite part of music class

Around 11am they nap and I try to get some work or housecleaning done. Then in the afternoon it’s more of the same — lunch and then going to a park or hanging with grandma or going to a museum.

They still love: reading books, vacuuming (preferably with a real vacuum), driving the cozy coupe, jumping/running/climbing, and playing with trucks and cars. Holden loves puzzles lately, as well as coloring. He has a lot of patience and a longer attention span than Teddy. Teddy likes to destroy things (rip pages of books, knock over towers, throw train tracks).

At night we put them down around 7 or 7:30. No matter how many books we read, Holden cries when it’s time to get in the crib. Teddy is just happy to be handed three pacifiers and be allowed to sleep. Holden insists on one of us laying next to his crib and holding his hand while he falls asleep, which we do every night BECAUSE WE ARE SUCKERS. Yep, if there is anything I’ve learned about myself via parenthood it’s that I’m a total sucker. I just feel this acute pang that my babies have grown up so fast and that this stage is so fleeting. I wonder if that feeling will ever go away.

I’m starting to think about their 2nd birthday. Should we have a party? What gifts would they enjoy? What will I do for their 2 year old pictures? How much will they be talking in two more months? I’m ready for time to slow down and for time to hurry up all at once.

Previously:  20 months • 1.5 years •  sixteen months • fourteen months • one year • nine months • eight months • seven months • six months • twenty weeks • four months • twelve weeks • two months • one month • three weeks • two weeks

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