My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I guess I'm feeling private

I'm not sure why I didn't write a single blog post in October.  I guess I'm kind of reaching a place where I don't have a lot to say, or I want to keep what I say between me and the person I'm saying it to.  My schedule has also become much more regimented now that I'm working most days that K isn't, so blogging has fallen to a much lower position on my priority list.  I'm going to plop pictures around this post because my kids are cute, but they don't actually pertain to anything written near them.

Working has definitely been a good thing.  Not that I have the most wonderful job in the world or anything, but it breaks up the stress in my life so that varies from day to day.  Being a full time stay at home mom has its perks, but I find that the constant low grade stress that doesn't ever change and doesn't feel like it ever will change, well it just chips away at my energy and happiness one little bit at a time.  It's never a big stress hit that I can point to and recover from, just a little bit of drain every day until there's nothing left.  Now that I'm not doing the same thing every single day, the days that I am doing the stay at home mom thing are much better and I think I'm better at it.

The only real thing I probably should have blogged about is some frustrations that have been building up over time finally coming to light and being addressed.  As readers of this blog have probably figured out, I've had some internal stress and self esteem issues that have been nagging at me and dragging me down.  I think a large part of that is simply decision fatigue.

K and I have a really exceptional marriage.  Seriously.  There's simply not much to complain about so I don't complain.  In every relationship there's a balance of power.  We balance our power by allowing me to make most of the day to day decisions but if something is important enough to him, he speaks up and I generally defer to him.  At least that's what I'd always believed our balance of power to be.  But after some real looking at what's actually happening, K never speaks up.  Or he speaks up so quietly that he thinks he's communicated what he wants to me but I don't hear it and just make the decision anyway and he goes with it.

I've come to realize that I no longer trust him to speak up at all.  I feel like every idea, decision, movement made in this household is my responsibility and I don't trust him to give his actual opinion on anything.  That means I'm constantly second guessing myself, trying to drag an opinion out of him that I trust to be his actual opinion and not just agreeing with me for the sake of agreeing with me, and me constantly feeling like there's something about me that's bothering him so I'm constantly trying to guess what that is and fix it.  It really wears on a person to constantly be looking for their own faults.

One of the byproducts of making every single decision in the household, every single mistake is mine.  Everything that doesn't work or turns out badly, that's on me.  After over a decade of owning every mistake from buying the wrong kind of orange juice to this latest cell phone plan debacle (we changed cell phone providers, it's been an expensive disaster, and we're trying to fix it) paired with my own general insecurities and guilt issues and it's all added up to me simply being terrified of doing anything because I'm sure it will end badly.  It's gotten to where I feel like I can't do a damned thing right because I've done so many things wrong.  I should have addressed this sooner but I didn't recognize the core of the problem.  I've just gotten to a point of being paralyzed to make any decision at all and I couldn't figure out what the hell was so wrong with me.  I've spent the last couple of years trying to figure out and fix whatever has made me so damned scared.  If I look at it, I'm sure that the ratio of my right to wrong decisions is the same as anyone elses, but we don't tend to remember the right decisions, we only add up the wrongs and after more than a decade of just so many damned daily decisions, my wrong pile got too damned high.

We had a big talk about this and K admitted that it's just easier to let me make decisions, but that it's unfair to me.  He's trying to take on more of the decision making responsibility but when that's not your usual MO and someone else will do it if you don't because it simply has to be done, it's an understandable struggle.  Unfortunately it's not really one that I can make easier for him because the whole crux of the issue is that he needs to take the initiative to do things so that I don't have to.  There's simply no way for me to do that for him or to have any control over whether or not he steps up to the plate and accomplishes this goal.

I'm starting to delegate certain things to him.  He's in charge of when the girls take a bath.  If he doesn't get the process going, the girls simply won't get a bath that day (they are wiped down constantly so they don't need a bath every day).  I had a decision to make today about some money that was gifted to us, do I put it towards something I've been wanting for about 10 years but that serves no purpose other than I want it, or do I put it towards home improvement.  I came home in tears because I want something but I know that if I decide to spend the money on it, I'll always feel guilty about it and I just can't feel good about the decision either way so I decided this decision is on him.  If he thinks I should have it, it's his job to get it for me and if he doesn't, I'll wait a while longer until we're in a better position to be spending money.

As I'm starting to push decisions on K rather than just doing it myself, I'm shocked by just how many daily decisions there are.  You don't notice them as you live your life, but shit, there's just a ton of them every single day!

So that's what's going on in my world and in my head.  As for the girls, they have now had their first haircuts and are sporting different styles of bangs.  I think they're much cuter.  They've started working together on projects which is totally awesome.  When I bring them out for diaper changes, whoever I changed first now runs back into the bedroom to giggle with the other one while I get her up.  They want to be together!  I'm enjoying the mom thing a whole lot more now that the girls are more interactive and I'm not doing it every single hour of every single day.

Hey look, I have more pictures!


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Playing referee

I'm finding that in a lot of ways, I'm not the mommy I want to be.  I feel like I don't spend much of my time playing and teaching, but rather spend my day refereeing and putting out fires.

The girls frustrate each other a lot.  Middie Biddie just wants to sit and focus on something, but Teeny Tiny immediately wants to be involved so she practically shoves MB aside from what she's playing with and takes over.  Then she gets frustrated quickly and throws whatever it is and goes into melt down.  By that time, Middie Biddie has either sought solace on my lap or has moved on to another toy and the cycle starts over again.  TT wants to play with MB, and sometimes attempts to display some affection towards her, but MB has become so accustomed to TT just stealing her toys outright and ruining her games (we're seriously trying to stop this) that TT is simply not her favorite person at the moment.

Yesterday MB refused to nap so I got her up and we played with a clock puzzle for about an hour.  I haven't had this puzzle available to the girls yet because it's a toy that requires a lot of small pieces and around here, that means the toy will be destroyed quickly as the pieces are flung into small unreachable corners.  But with just one child, I was able to keep track of the pieces and she really enjoyed learning how the puzzle worked, and finding success in identifying numbers and where the shapes go.

I want to do more of this kind of thing.  Middie Biddie really enjoys the quiet concentration, and I want the opportunity to teach Teeny Tiny better frustration coping skills so she can enjoy it too.  But as it is, I don't get to do that, I just have to deal with the fire that springs up, get the children pacified, and then wait to spring into action for the next one.  As a result, we spend far too many days with the TV on because it greatly reduces the amount of tantrums.  Of course, it also greatly reduces the amount of learning and playing going on as well.

Oh, the TV.  Yeah, I'm that mom.  I'm not proud of it but it is what it is.  I'm accustomed to having the TV on all the time for my own entertainment so it's not shocking that I'm passing that on to my children.  Yesterday, I took the girls to the play area at the mall specifically to get them away from the TV and to get them to actively play.  What did I find when I got there?  They had installed a big screen TV inside the play area tuned to the channel that's a staple here at home.  Not cool Mall, not cool at all.

My folks are coming over tonight to watch the girls so K and I can go out.  I think I'm going to talk to them about finding an hour here and there throughout the week to take one of the girls out so I can play with each of them one at a individually from time to time.  K and I were going to try to do this on days that we're both home, but this really hasn't come to fruition.  Now that I'm working on the days that he isn't, on the rare occasion that we're both available as parents, we generally want to spend that time as a family of four rather than splitting up again.  So maybe if my parents can come and retrieve one child, take her back to their place for an hour to play, we can all get more one on one time that every child deserves, and I can spend more time being a better mom.  And maybe once they've had a little time apart, they'll enjoy each others company more when they're together.

More talking is happening

The girls verbal skills are continuing to improve and I'm working on being a better verbal coach to them.

I'm working on trying to talk them through any temper tantrums to give them some words to what they're feeling.  It's a slow process and I'm trusting that eventually they'll understand the emotions that pair with words like "mad" and "frustrated".

I'm also working on not just doing everything for them the realize I notice they want something, but rather I'm trying to make them ask.  Instead of just going into the kitchen and getting their water cups shortly after breakfast, I'm now asking if they want it, I ask them to ask me for it, and then go get it.  I think the way I anticipate their needs and desires is hindering their speech development.  Why would they ask for water if they have it in their hands 2 minutes before they notice they want it?

As such, they are eating a LOT of bananas.  They know that word, they enjoy saying that word, and now they are being rewarded by always getting one if they come and ask me for one.  They're now getting the connection that they can use a word as a request rather than simply to identify something they already have.  And after a week of being sick, bananas are easy on the stomach, so we're going through a ton of them.

We also had a big milestone moment this week.  It's one that most families probably did more than a year ago, but with K's crazy retail schedule and me usually feeding everyone at different times to accommodate that schedule, we don't eat dinner together very often.  When we do, the girls have been at their high chair table while K and I eat at the dining room table.  This is actually new for us, we usually just eat dinner on the couch in front of the TV after the girls go to bed.  But this week, we set up booster chairs at the dining room table and ate together like an actual family!

In other news, Middie Biddie knows her numbers really well.  Today while Teeny Tiny was taking a nap and Middie Biddie insisted on staying up, I tested this.  I got out a clock puzzle and started asking her for numbers out of order and asking her to identify numbers randomly.  I knew she could count, but yes, she can identify numbers even out of sequence!

She's also very good at identifying shapes with a particular fondness for triangles.
Teeny Tiny's claim to fame is her expert identification of colors and body parts.  She can mix up 4 colors of brand new playdoh into one giant marbled mush that shall never be 4 colors again, and she also plays a mean flute!  Ok, it's a ruler that she holds to her mouth and hums, but I say it counts!  They're geniuses I tell you, GENIUSES!

Friday, September 26, 2014

We got sick

A week ago, I was learning a certain life tip first hand.

*graphic content implied by the following life tip*

When you have the stomach flu, if you are going to puke, sit on the toilet and puke into a bucket.  Do not kneel in front of the toilet to puke.  Sometimes your body wants to get rid of everything in every direction at the same time.  I would like to thank K profusely for cleaning up the results of me not figuring out this life tip until the third round of violent vomiting and everything that went with it.  Many marital mysteries were ended that fateful night last week.

*graphic content over*

It started with Middie Biddie getting sick the one morning I had scheduled a play date with a bunch of online friends (Tuesday).  K went to get her up and I just hear "oh honey, you poor thing" from the nursery.  She woke up covered in vomit.  We hoped it was a fluke and began our day with breakfast and getting ready to go, and then she lost her breakfast.  So this big play date that I scheduled with people traveling from a couple of hours away to meet the girls, and we couldn't go.

Instead, we covered the couch with a blanket (blankets are easier to launder than couches) and puttered around the house with MB puking up anything that went into her while K went to work.  I put her hair up in high pigtails because for some reason, she kept getting vomit in her hair.

I did learn that the sink is still the easiest way to bathe the girls.  For a while I wasn't using it because they got to a stage where I couldn't be so focused on one and trust that the other wouldn't get into something, but that stage seems to have passed.  Now that attention spans are getting longer, I can turn my back for a bit and it's ok.  It's a whole lot easier than running a full bath and doing official bath time with both of them.  Middie Biddie had two or three emergency sink baths that day.

The next day (Wednesday) I went to work and K reports that she was still sick all day, though not as bad.  And that night, I got hit.  Holy canoli did I get hit!  Fortunately, K was off work the next day (Thursday) so I spent all night having everything in my system violently trying to get out of my system by any means of exit possible and spent the whole next day in bed while he took care of the girls.  I don't even remember that day other than waking up, taking the smallest sips of water or broth, and passing back out.  Apparently I was with it enough to call my new boss that morning to let him know I needed to call in sick, but I don't even remember having that conversation.

And Thursday night, K went down.  While I took the approach of not wanting to eat or drink anything because of the violent vomiting that would follow, K took the approach of continuously drinking water and allowing himself to get as sick as it would get him to flush it out of his system faster.  His approach did allow him to get through the illness faster than I did, but due to lifelong stomach issues, his body is also more accustomed to vomiting than mine is.  He finds it unpleasant obviously, but it's not as traumatic for him as it seems to be for me.

And Friday, Teeny Tiny fell prey to the bug and I spent the day cleaning up giant puddles of toddler puke.

After a week of nothing but jello and crackers, we're all back to eating actual food.  That was one lousy week.