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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Brennan has learned THE WORD. You know the one. The one you hope comes last in your toddler's repetoire of newly developed language. The one you hope he'll NEVER repeat when you say it. But, let's be honest, it's IMPOSSIBLE not to say it in front of him about 982734923874 a day (or so it seems).

Yep, that's the one. "No."

I must admit, it's actually semi-cute. He has known what the word "no" means for awhile now and has been shaking his head "no" for a month or so. But last week, he climbed up on the kitchen chair to try to climb onto the kitchen table while I was fixing dinner. I, of course, walked over to him and said, "Brennan, NO. No, no. We do not climb up on chairs" and shook my finger at him. I think my jaw hit the floor when he looked at me and said "NO. No, no!" while shaking his finger at me.

Now, I really don't think he's telling me "No, don't tell me no!" It seems more like "Yeah mom, I know I'm not supposed to do this, so I'll look cute and say no so you don't yell at me too much". Stay strong mommy, stay strong. He also yells "NO!" at the dogs when they're barking. Maybe this could work out well for me....

Monday, March 28, 2011

House guests

Warning: This post is going to sound really bitchy, hypocritical, and ungrateful. But I truly don't mean it to be. I just need to vent my frustrations. And if you can't do so on your own tiny little space in the great big "web", where can you? So here goes...

I have decided that one part of living so far from family and friends that I really don't enjoy is having house guests. At home, I always enjoyed having people over for dinner or drinks or whatever. But at the end of the day, I loved when they left and I could breathe a sigh of relief and be comfortable in my own space again. Of course, if someone had too much to drink I would always rather then stay the night than put any lives at risk, but having someone other than just the 3 of us in the house at night was always just uncomfortable for me. It's not like we have any funny-business going on in our house, although I'll admit I like to sleep in minimal clothing and therefore walk around that way in the mornings and at night. But that's not the issue. It's just a general feeling of being "invaded".

Brian, on the other hand, LOVES to have people around. He'd invite everyone he knows to come live with us for a month if he could. Here's the problem: he doesn't do the meal planning, cooking, shopping, before and after cleaning, or the weekday entertaining. He says to people, "Sure! Come stay a week!" He spends time with visitors on weekends by packing in as many activities as possible so that there isn't any time left for normal household upkeep, then goes to work on Monday morning and I'm stuck here with the entertaining to do. The little things that bug me don't bother him a bit. And if they do, he blows them off quite easily.

Here's where I'm going to sound bitchy and ungrateful -- I don't like it when people take liberties in my life, especially in my home. And people tend to want to "help" with things but usually end up overstepping their bounds in my opinion. I know how to care for my son. I do it every day. And while I have moments when it's tiring, I don't get sick of it. I know how to interpret his babble. I know when he's tired or happy or hungry or sick. I know when he's really awake in his bed or when he's just stirring and will fall back to sleep on his own. We have rules and routines in which he thrives. He has food sensitivities that no one but me (no, not even Brian) has a full handle on. So it bugs me to no end when someone steps on my "mommy toes".

I don't want anyone to get Brennan out of his bed but Brian or I because we know when he is ready to get up. I don't like anyone telling me that he's hungry or tired or the opposite, because guess what? I already know. I'm around him every minute of every day. And you've been around him for 24 hours. I don't care how many children you've been around or raised, you aren't raising mine. And therefore you don't know him as well as I do. So don't try to tell me what to do. I don't like it when people try to feed him because of his food sensitivities. It's just dangerous. We are his parents and we are right here and will feed him if necessary. It even bugs me when people let the dogs in without asking us if it's OK. I mean, I'm right here and not deaf. I hear them barking and have already told them no. I will let them in when Brennan is done eating so they do not eat from his tray. Why would you think it's OK to just go ahead an let them in then?

These are all just experiences I've had in the past of people getting "too comfortable" in my home and with my child. I know people just want to help, but I was raised to ask people what I can do to help, not just do something. Even when I'm at my parents' house, where I was raised and feel almost as "at home" as I do in my own house, I ask if it's OK to let the dog in or out. I ask if it's OK that I eat certain things or change the TV channel. It's not being over-polite in my opinion. It's basic human respect. Yes, I sound like an ungrateful little brat, but I truly don't mean to. I really do appreciate help. I just want to be asked first.

So you can imagine the difficulty this brings when you move 1000 miles away from home and the visitors begin to come. Now, we have had discussions about this and have both acknowledged that we need to meet each other halfway. I need to have a more open mind about having people come to visit and he needs to realize that it's a lot of work for me, especially when he isn't around during the week to share in the responsibilities. We agreed that one visitor or group of visitors per month would be acceptable for now, of course until the twins are born and we require more help. As it is, I have been flying back to Michigan one a month for class, so with me gone one weekend and visitors here one weekend, that leaves two weekends per month for us to live as a normal family. It's a good compromise and has worked well so far.

Here's where the hypocritical part comes in -- My parents were our first visitors. God bless them, they are wonderful house guests. They don't want to be in our way, but enjoy spending time with us. They don't step on my "mommy-toes", they ask what they can do to help and they let us be the parents. They are perfect of course, everyone has their flaws, but they are very easy people to host. And they came for the perfect amount of time. They flew in on a Friday and left on a Tuesday morning. Actually, I could have had them here another day or two. But work called and they flew home after a wonderful visit. Brian and I agreed that they are probably the easiest guests we'll ever have. Next, my little sister came to spend her spring break with us. She stayed for a week, which I was a little unsure about since it seemed long, but it was a nice visit. I felt bad because I wasn't feeling well and we didn't do much, but she seemed to enjoy the relaxation. So that was our February schedule. Two visits didn't seem like too much because I didn't go home for class that month. Then the rest of the months started to fill up. And I started to get anxious and told Brian that we need to limit these visits to five days or so. He didn't understand, especially because my sister had been here for a week and my other sister just booked a week long trip. I explained that it seems crazy, but I don't feel the need to entertain these people. They are my family. The people I lived with for longer than I've lived with him this far. I don't feel the need to entertain them when he goes off to work. I can put them to work or just hang out and feel comfortable. But those are the only four people in the world I can feel that way with.

If Brian was the one home all week and I was out at work, I'd never dream of inviting people here for him to entertain for five days by himself. He doesn't necessarily understand it, but he can accept it. That's how I know I've found a good guy. He deals with my neuroses. So the rest of the months have been filled with less than five day visits from family and friends. After that, I know I'll need a lot of help and I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'll just have to accept the fact that people will be in my house a lot. They are big time control issues that I am trying to learn how to deal with. I'm just hoping that maybe the people in our lives that come to visit can meet me halfway and just ASK first before doing. We shall see....

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And now, the reason I've been such a crappy blogger lately....

Introducing: the belly. Yes, I have jumped on the preggo train along with a million other people I know. How far along? About 14 weeks. Go ahead, say what you're thinking.

Why is she showing that much already? I mean, I know you show earlier when it's not your first pregnancy, but um, that belly is a little on the large side.

Well, I'll give you two reasons:

Reason A

Reason B

Yes, twins. Completely insane right? It took us awhile to process the idea. So here's the story:

I found out I was preggo right around 4 wks. (For those of you who don't get the whole "week counting" thing, 4 wks is when you'll miss a period. I'm sorry, but the concept of months just doesn't make sense to me. So, weeks it is!) I was REALLY sick with Brennan, so as ecstatic as I was to be pregnant, I had a feeling that my days of feeling good were limited. Around 5 1/2 wks the fun began. I was reacquainted with a long lost best friend - the toilet. I puked and dry heaved while Brennan stood next to the toilet and laughed at me. Because I couldn't keep anything down, my blood sugar was also in the toilet, so I had a hard time being vertical. This is not good when you have a toddler to take care of. It was so weird because I puked more when I was pregnant with Brennan but didn't have this problem.

Fast forward to 8 wks preggo. I had an appointment with my new OB doc, who scheduled an ultrasound for the next day for various reasons. So the next day, Brian met me at the doctor's office and we went in for our first "photo shoot" as Brian calls ultrasounds. Brennan was sitting on Brian's lap, but wasn't very happy that the ultrasound tech had turned the lights off and was messing with his mommy. So when the first image came onto the screen I was distracted. When I turned my head to look, I immediately saw two black circles and thought "Is that two (amniotic) sacs? No way, I must not know what I'm looking at." Then the tech said, "There's a baby. See that heartbeat? Now keep your eyes on that one ... because there is the other one!" Brian and I were in complete and utter shock.

We left the office with pictures of two little blobs and couldn't just get in our cars and say "See you later honey". So we decided to take a walk. We got some donuts and walked around the park, trying to absorb the news. Still unable to separate, we ran some quick errands with our heads in the clouds. Eventually, we began to call our families and share the news. Of course everyone was shocked and over-joyed.

Eventually the news sank in for both of us, but I have to admit that it took awhile. I'll be very honest and say that my emotions at first were very confusing. I've never been one of those people who thought having twins would be a fantastic thing. In fact, I thought the opposite. While every child is a blessing and I would never take it for granted, having twins just didn't sound like fun to me. So when I heard this news, I wasn't jumping for joy. I was overwhelmed, intimidated, and a bit terrified. I mean I already have one little, very active person to run after. How was I going to take care of two infants and him??

But at the same time, the minute I found out I was pregnant I fell in love with the tiny person growing inside me and that certainly hadn't changed now that I knew there were two. In fact, knowing what I know about the risks of a twin pregnancy, I was terrified to lose one of them. The risk of miscarriage of one or both babies in a twin pregnancy is significantly higher than in a singleton pregnancy. So I had this odd mix of emotions to battle, and felt a tremendous amount of guilt for not being able to muster the same amount of excitement as everyone else.

My doctor called after my ultrasound to congratulate me and to recommend that I read a particular book on multiples. I downloaded it to my Kindle a few days later and began to read. I eventually got to a section that discussed emotions. The book said that most mothers of multiples experience Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' Five Stages of Grief when they find out they are carrying more than one baby. And in fact, most do not feel excited at first because they are too overwhelmed with other emotions. This calmed my fears of being abnormal and helped me to work toward acceptance and eventually excitement.

Now that we've made it out of the first trimester and fully comprehended the fact that we'll be bringing home two babies instead of one, I'm excited. Still nervous about many many things, but excited that we'll have two times the baby to bring home and love. It will be a roller coaster for sure, but we'll make it through! And now we're working on training this guy to use some of his energy to retrieve things for mommy.....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

No, wait, it's MARCH?!

I used to laugh when old people would tell me how fast time flies as you get older. Now, I am one of those people telling the youngins the same thing.

It's just hard to believe that we've been in FL for two months now! Life is certainly busy. But someday, I will get good at this whole 'remembering to blog' thing. Someday.

For now, I'm enjoying our visitors and getting ready to go to Michigan next week. Uh oh, that means snow.....