Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Unlike my husband, I never feel compelled to run for fun in the hot, hot sun.  Ever.

With the beautiful fall weather, I do feel compelled to make green slime smoothies and feed them to my girls while watching the neighbor take down his 100 year old maple tree.

I feel compelled to go for walks with Vivi and pick up pretty leaves which may result in various art projects.

I feel compelled to cook a pound of dried great northern beans because a Tuscan bean soup sounds really good on a cool, autumn evening.

And, after all that, we feel compelled to put on our jammie jams, sunggle in tight, and read a book.

Happy Fall!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hello Again!

Sometimes I think being a parent to twins and an older child is akin to doing an extended  stint in an Iranian hard labor camp. The incessant demands, the never-ending cleanup, the desperation and deprivation all make me wonder what sort of cruel universal joke landed me in this predicament.

In many ways, that punishingly difficult first year is starting to fade. Vivi has more or less accepted that her little sisters are here to stay and she delights in how much they obviously love her. (She is less enthused with them touching her stuff, however.)  The Turtles are no longer colicky blobs of ceaseless crying but instead are two disparate bundles of personality. They are speeding around and beginning to talk and when asked how much Mommy loves them they'll throw their arms wide and yell, "Big!  Big!" 

But, it is still not easy.  I realize with twins that it never gets easy.  It just becomes less hard.  Or, at least, some things do.  While the babes are on a schedule now and can be counted on to sleep several hours at a stretch, we still find ourselves up a few times a night with them-- a different child at a different time.  It feels like our sleep deprivation will just never end.

Then there's the joy and hassle of their constant movement.  The other day, while I was cooking in the kitchen with Ellie Bean at my feet, Jude starting crying in the living room. I checked on her and found that she had climbed into the toy bin and couldn't get out.  When I returned to the kitchen, I found Ellie sitting ON TOP of my knife on the cutting board on our island eating raw butternut squash.  (She had climbed a chair, crawled across the table, and then up on the island which holds our cook top.  Thank heavens it wasn't on or she didn't stab herself or fall or...or...or....)  I freaked and put her down.  She toddled away and five minutes later both she and Jude returned to me soaking wet.  Vivi had forgotten to put the toilet seat down and they had used their toys to scoop all the water out of the toilet and onto themselves and the floor.  

And most every day is like that.  I get angry sometimes that Vivi doesn't intervene when she sees them doing things like bathing themselves in the toilet but then I have to remind myself that she is four and her job isn't to be a little version of me.  Sadly, the reminder usually comes after I've yelled at her but before I've apologized. 

So when evening rolls around and the girls are all in bed, I sit on the couch.  That's it.  Sometimes I read while I'm sitting.  Sometimes I sew.  Most times I just think about all the energy it is going to take to do it all again tomorrow.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wanting More

If there is one thing that I was absolutely clear on the first year of Jude and Ellie's life, it was that I was done having children.  Did you hear that? DONE.  D.O.N.E. At no point in the future would I be birthing or raising any more children. Period. We were pretty sure at the start of our second pregnancy that we were going to stop at two children.  Then we got our bonus baby and that likelihood became a certainty.  The plan is to accept our fate as a party of five.

So there.

Last Saturday, I visited my dear friend who is 33 weeks pregnant with her own set of twins.  Like me, she has an older daughter.  Unlike me, she has had a difficult pregnancy and is now on hospital bed rest.  I wonder how it is all going to work out for her and I feel both trepidatious and concerned.

My friend has seen how hard the first year of my twin's life was.  She was witness to the marathon nursing sessions, the short tempers, my inability to hold a conversation due to extreme sleep deprivation, the marital strife and stress, and the substantial regression of our older child.  She is under no illusion that what she is about to embark upon will be easy.  

So, it shocked the hell out of her when I said that I might one day want just one more baby. (Clearly getting just one more may not be an option for me, however.)  You see, after Vivi, I didn't feel like I really experienced all the wonderful things that come with babies:  the tiny toes, the curled up fingers, their coos and smiles, and the ability to curl into a tiny little ball and fall asleep anywhere.  What is burned into my memory are the colicky afternoons and evenings, the chaos, and the sleepless nights.  Ironically, it is their birth that I remember so positively.  The baby part, not so much.  Somehow, I blinked and Jude and Ellie turned into delightful toddlers and we're all much happier.

Thank heavens for that.

When thinking about a new baby, I long to have those newborn cuddles.  Then my brain kicks in and reminds the rest of my body that I am NUTS. It is not going to happen because my sanity depends on it not happening.  Besides, my friend is about to have two so I'm sure she won't mind if I savor the baby moments for her.

Isn't that what good friends are for?