Monday, January 25, 2010

From Two to One: Day 1

I have decided to take the plunge and move Sebastian and Collette to a one nap life. My decision is three-fold. 1 - They seem (almost) ready. Not as sleepy when they go down, not napping for as long, etc. 2 - Weissbluth told me this is a normal age to do it. Thank you, good Dr. 3 - Our best playmates are doing it and if we are not on the same schedule, we'll never see each other!

So, today marks the first day of our nap transition. From what I have heard from other moms and from what the Dr. has told me, there are three basic approaches: shorten the morning nap until it disappears, push both naps back until the second nap disappears, or go cold turkey and utilize lots of snacks and Backyardigans episodes. I didn't truly have a preference for one method or another so I'm going with option 2, push both back, because we have our first EI playgroup today at 1pm and I don't want to miss it.

We got up at the normal time this morning, 630am. Usually we play in the living room for a bit after breakfast, then play in the playroom until about 9 and then go to their bedroom to get dressed, read books and get ready for nap. This morning, I was able to keep them in the playroom until 940 with the help of animal crackers, Tyrone, Pablo and Tasha. Once we were in their room, they got a short second wind and went down for their nap at 10:12am. I'm writing this as they sleep so we'll see how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed!

I have no idea how long this should take - a week? 2? a month? I'm hoping it will happen quickly because I have this membership to the Children's Museum and I would really like to use it. But with two naps to get home for, its just been too hard squeezing it in. Plus, I hate being in limbo (who likes it though, right?) so I am already anxious to get used to a new schedule and plan our days accordingly.

Thoughts? Advice?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

4 Generation Celebration

I'm very lucky that all of my grandparents are still alive and well. On Thursday, my grandmother celebrated yet another birthday (yay Grammy!) - I won't tell you how old she is (she's a lady, after all) but let's just say that I hope my red hair isn't the only thing I inherited from her.

My parents treated her to a mani/pedi earlier in the day and the twins and I joined them for lunch later. Fun was had by all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Way Back Whenesday: La Piñata

When: December 20th, 2009
Where: San Salvador
What: Sebastian and Collette's Birthday Bash, Round 2

My lovely MIL planned an AMAZING first birthday party for the twins while we were in El Salvador. I feel like the pictures won't do it justice. But here goes:

Sebastian's cake (Collette's was already cut)

Collette's First Lollipop

Sebastian trying to remember the number for CPS

Sebastian trying to whack the piñata

Waiting for the magic show to start

This is mainly to show how giant the piñatas were

Face painting station

The stage and seating.
In the background, you can see the dessert table, the juice table and the pizza station. You can't see the popcorn machine, the ice cream cart, or the cotton candy machine. Also, the adults had a paella station, a ceviche station and a double kegerator. I'm not even joking.

Colie and me under the patio roof. In this shot, you can see the bounce house in the back.

The party favors were beach towels with a lady bug, bee and butterfly embroidered on them. So, basically, I can never throw them a party because it will never be as good as this one! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Crackin' the Whip

Now that Sebastian and Collette are "big kids," it's time they start earning their keep around the house. They do a great job dusting those hard to reach places - their hands can get in anywhere!

Collette has taken things one step further and tried wrangling the big broom. All the power to ya, baby girl!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Belly Pics: 8 Weeks and 12 Weeks

For posterity, we are doing belly pics for this pregnancy every 4 weeks. Every week was just way too much last time. And, as you can see, not a lot changed in 4 weeks. Don't mind my stretch marks.

8 weeks pregnant

12 weeks (and 5 days) pregnant

Also, I had my first OB appointment last week (I graduated from my REs office right before we left for ES) and everything went well. Our one and only ultrasound is scheduled for February 20th - mark your calendars! I think it's a girl and Billy thinks it's a boy. At least one of us will be right. And I still can't believe I only have one ultrasound. I'm sure that I couldn't even count the number of ultrasounds I had with the twins. This pregnancy is going to seem like such a breeze!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Toddling Times Two

I now officially have two toddlers. Sebastian has been walking way more than crawling (although he still stumbles a lot) and Collette hasn't crawled for a couple of weeks now. Funny how this changes how I view them but really, not much else. At least not immediately. I know this is just the beginning of their toddlerhood and walking is a huge jumping off point for other toddler milestones but, in our day to day lives, not much has changed. I don't have to babyproof anything new. I know once spring arrives and we are out at parks, I will understand what all the other twin moms talk about when they say, "wait 'til they're walking!" For now though, it's just pretty cute to see my no-longer-babies toddle around the house.


Thanks to everyone for your advice on my post yesterday. Obviously, a lot of it was just venting, like we all need to do from time to time. As for the SAHM vs. working mom thing, I know there is no right or wrong answer. And regardless of how I feel sometimes, I know that being a SAHM is the best for our family right now. It will always be isolating, I think. That's just life. Playdates and the like help, but it's not the same as going to your job everyday and interacting with other like-minded adults. On the flip side, working outside of the home will always mean missing time with your kids. There's no perfect solution. If there were one, everyone would do it. So, thanks for listening and commiserating.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The SAHM Blues

I hate to admit this but there are (many) days where I wish I was not a SAHM. It's not that I don't love spedning time with my kids. I do. I laugh every day. I am so happy to see their little faces in the morning. I am blessed to see the grow and learn.

But even blessings can get really old, really fast. And having your home also be your "place of work" is hard for me. When I met Billy, he worked out of his apartment. He was part of a start-up company and the other guys were in Chcago (I believe). He traveled there and Europe quite a bit but, for the most part, he was in his 600 sq. ft. one bedroom, working all day. I was astonished that he had the discipline to get anything accomplished because I knew if it were me, I would slack off and procrastinate and probably not do a very good job. I know that I need to be in a certain place and have a certain frame of mind to be productive. And I know that place is not the same place I eat and sleep and relax. So, I often feel unmotivated being at home all day.

And, if I'm being really honest, quite trapped. Having twin 13 month olds is never going to be easy, per se. But sometimes I feel that my job as their mom is exacerbated by the fact that I say at home with them all day and don't have another adult around for up to 4 days at a time. Running errands is a project, not a quick hop-in-the-car-run-into-the-store-get-what-you-need outing. Cooking is something I enjoy but lately, I just don't have the energy to cram it into the 2-hour opportunities I get during naps and after bedtime. I won't even talk about a social life.

I'm sure a lot of you are nodding along and thinking, "hey, just go back to work. We won't judge you." And sometimes I consider that. But my unique issue is that I don't have a job, or career, to go back to. I was in the middle of switching "careers" yet again (I'm so Gen Y) when we were trying to get pregnant. I wanted to become a high school math teacher and was working my way toward that goal. I got my certificate while I was working part time at a local school. Then I applied to a teacher residency program with BPS. And I got accepted! It would train me, in a classroom, for 13 months and then I would graduate to my own classroom. I would automatically have a job once I finished my residency. It was perfect. But then I got pregnant. With twins. And a hard core residency program didn't really seem to fit in with that. I would be delivering the kidlets half way through my term and I didn't want to leave my babies when they were weeks old.

So, I am kind of in limbo. I could go back to the residency program but, again, I'm pregnant so I face the same dilemma. And I'm not sure if I really want to not be a SAHM or if I just have a case of "the grass is greener on the other side." I know the struggle so many couples go through when they both work. And if something comes up with the kids, it's on me to leave work and deal with it because Billy is almost always an airplane ride away. My guess is I won't feel this way once they are in preschool. Countdown 'til Fall 2011...?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's, El Salvador Style

First off, let me just confess: I did not make it until midnight on New Year's Eve. Sun and beach and two 13-month olds will wear you out, no doubt, and add to that all the energy my body is expending trying to sustain yet another life and I need me my eight hours of sleep!

But still, it was a very enjoyable New Year's. We got to the beach on the 29th and left on the 1st - a nice chunk of time to spend sans TV, computer or phones. The kids had a great time although they definitely preferred the kiddie pool to the Pacific.

We did lots of relaxing, naturally. And Billy tried to get the kids to join in, too, but they only have two speeds: full and off. However, he did manage to read them half a story in the hammock before they started wiggling around like little piglets.

The high lights of New Year's Eve were watching the sunset while we were in the ocean with the kids (last sunset of 2009!) and the food. That night, a cousin of our friends made a huge and delicious paella, with seafood that was mostly caught that morning from the town we were in. Here's a peak:

A lovely minivacation indeed. And to clarify from my last post (FavAuntie!), we will not go to El Salvador every Christmas - just every New Year's. And every other year, we will go for both. It's the best time to go because it's their "summer" - not because they are in the Southern Hemisphere (they aren't) but because they consider summer to be the dry season (although it's cooler) and the wet season is winter (although it's hotter). I don't try to make sense of it, I just go with flow. And enjoy the sunshine every day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I'm Back, Biatch!

Yes, I'm back. Back to reality and freezing temperatures and a painful 1:2 adult:child ratio. 15 days in El Salvador truly spoiled all of us. After 2 days there, I was almost in tears at the thought of coming home - sorry Mom!! Life down there is just so much easier. No cooking or cleaning or laundry. All the beans and rice a pregnant girl could want. Beautiful weather. But when the 15 days were up, most of me was ready to come home. I missed Lola. I missed my family. I missed speaking 100% in English. And now that we are back, I realize it's not so bad. We all fell right back into our lovely routine as if we had never left and things just feel right.

I have so much to write about the trip and plenty of pictures to go with it. My new camera is great and I will be able to upload all my photos tonight when I install all the software. Without any pictures for this post, I will just share with some quick highlights/interesting things from our vacation:
  • Collette learned to walk. I know I said she has been taking steps but by Christmas, she was walking full time. Sebastian is just now showing signs that he is ready, taking more steps by himself to get to his favorite toys.
  • In Spanish, they have a special word for "to hold" when you are talking about holding a baby/person. I think it's because they do it so often. Seriously, it's amazing Collette learned to walk considering how much time she spent in someone's arms.
  • I found out that kids in El Salvador start preschool (they call it "kinder") at about 18 months old, some even younger! And its 5 days a week, 8-12!! I won't even tell you how little it costs. Lucky bastards.
  • In El Salvador, it seems that they don't know what ear infections are. I was quite worried Collette had an ear infection because she had a very bad runny nose, fever and was just so cranky - very unlike her. When I mentioned my hypothesis to Billy, he thought it was his fault because she dunked her head underwater in the bath while he was washing her. When I mentioned it to someone else, they looked at me strangely and asked when Collette had gone swimming. The only ear infection they are familiar with is "swimmers ear", not the inner ear infection I was referring to. Weird, right?
  • The beach was a complete disaster. Well, the sand, anyway. How do people take their kids to the beach at this age? The sand-eating and sand-in-the-eyes caused a complete meltdown for poor Sebastian. Collette didn't seemed to mind as she just kept eating the sand, non-stop. She also eats dirt. Is it considered pica when it's a baby doing it?
  • My kids are totally bilingual!! Well, you know, in receptive language. They're not talking just yet. But they understand so much in both languages, I was so amazed. I think it really helped to have so many people around them talking and interacting. Another reason I was scared to come home - they are all alone here.
All in all, we had a wonderful time and will probably go back at that time each year. Which means next year we will have 2 two-year olds and a 5 month old. Yikes!