My Story

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

Monday, December 22, 2014

The curse of Dec 21 and 22

This time of year is cursed.  It just is.  It's like the purge where if you get through these couple of days intact, you get to survive another year.

My cousin just informed via facebook that they have lost their pregnancy.  A colleague is suffering through the day that is not only the 4 month anniversary of her sons passing via SIDS, but it is also the day that marks that he has now been gone just as long as he was here on earth.

And of course, it's my 4 year anniversary.  I didn't actually notice that as the 21st and 22nd passed.  I was reminded when I saw my cousins facebook post and went "oh wow, I can't believe it's the same time of year as ....oh wait, did I already pass the anniversary?  Holy crap, how did I not notice that?"

I've been irritable the last few days. Restless, just feeling unsatisfied in general.  I thought it was a hormonal thing since I'm having my period and as someone who never really had those before, I get hit pretty hard emotionally by the hormones when I do.  Maybe I was being depressed because it's the anniversary even though I didn't consciously remember that it is.

So now I'm going to have a good cry.  Let the guilt of forgetting smack me around a little bit and give some focus to the depression I've had the last few days.  Then I'll pick myself back up, tell myself I shouldn't feel guilty about forgetting since no one is hurt by my forgetting.

Then I'll probably do something to spoil the girls and celebrate those I lost by spoiling the ones I didn't.  Maybe we'll do something completely obnoxious on this day every year so that it becomes a good day.  Maybe a "winter solstice celebration by having brownies for dinner" or something.  So I'll be a day late this year.  They won't notice.  And brownie covered toddler faces make for great pictures.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pictures to remember

Just depositing a few things here that I want to remember about recent weeks.

We set up the Christmas tree.  The girls weren't at all interested in the tree but enjoyed the garlands.  They played balance beam, pull the sister, and sparkly necklace with them.


Snuggles with Daddy.


Climb Mount Mommy!


We attempted Christmas portraits again this year.  It did not go smoothly.  We should have had Benny Hill music running the whole time.  Middie Biddie just totally wasn't into the whole picture thing so we have several of Teeny Tiny that are actually really cute, but very few where Middie Biddie is presentable.  A sampling of the cute, some because of smiles and some because of humor (credit and thanks as always to my wonderful photographer friend Sarah at Triskele Photo) -

 IMG_8737   IMG_8918  IMG_8660   IMG_8715

Finally got Middie Biddie to smile, but also got her awkward and flashing
 IMG_8731  IMG_8729

A couple of family shots where we almost kinda had everyone smiling and looking comfortable.



Screw it, we're not meant for formal portraits.  The winning family portrait of 2014 is......


Happy Holidays everyone!

A bedtime I want to remember

Bedtime usually isn't the nightmare for us that I hear about in other households.  Generally we tell the girls it's time for night night and they grab their bears and head into their room.  Then they run around their room a little bit playing with each other while I sing the night night song and it's into cribs with very little fuss or muss. Then we hear them chatter away, sometimes singing little songs, sometimes light giggles, sometimes they're jumping in their cribs laughing hysterically for quite a while before they actually go to sleep. Benefit of twins I guess.  When every night is a slumber party with your best friend, it ain't so bad being put to bed.

But what it hasn't been for a while is a chance to snuggle.  Once they started firmly and confidently walking, they've wanted to run around their bedroom in that one short window they get to be in there*.  Bedtime became a fun time rather than a quiet time.  Sometimes this is awesome, it's lead to some of the biggest laughter in our household, but I still miss the quiet snuggles.

Tonight, I got my snuggles.  Not sure why and I don't care.  But after I got them into sleep sacks, Teeny Tiny wanted to lay on my chest on her back like she used to while we rocked, and I held out an arm for Middie Biddie and she came running into it so I could scoop her up and she could lay on my other side.  I had no idea if they would let me get through the whole song before sliding off my lap to start running around, but they did.  And then they both just stayed there while we rocked.  Middie Biddie sometimes half closing her eyes.  We rocked for a while before I finally said it was time to go night night and put them in their cribs.

Don't know how the rest of the night is going to go.  I'm hearing some singing at the moment.  Might get an explosion of tears later, might turn into a party, might just quietly fade out until asleep over the next hour.  Don't care.  I got good snuggles and all I had to do to get them was be available to receive them.  The very best kind.

*They only sleep in their bedroom and the door is closed all the time.  There are 2 reasons for this-

1)  I want that room to be associated with sleep rather than play to make it easier later.  That's what I want even if that's not what's been happening lately.  If there are toys in there and they are allowed to use that room as a playroom during the day, I don't know how they'll ever get to sleep.

2)  It's the last room in the house with carpet and we kept that door closed the entire time we've lived here to keep the cats out.  It's the only room in this house that hasn't been peed in by cats and I'm determined to keep it untainted.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How did I do?

We're coming up on the end of 2014 and I think it's time to look at what I resolved to do this year and see how I did.  Let's go down the list.

1)  Spend less time on the computer

Um, oops.  This didn't happen.

2)  Take the baby gates down

We opened up the house a whole lot more this year.  We have a few specific areas still blocked off.  One is because K has a project set up that requires hands off, one is because that's where the Christmas tree is going to go (eventually) and then the diaper changing area.  Two of those areas will be open immediately after Christmas and as soon as the drawer locks I ordered arrive and we get them installed on the dresser and the diaper pail, that gate will come down.  So I think once Christmas is over, the only space the girls won't have free access to will be the kitchen.  We got a learning tower so we will be able to bring them in there to "help" from time to time while still keeping them away from the stove and such.  I'm going to call this one accomplished.

3)  Get the girls out of the house

Well, I said once a week, and I'm pretty sure we've accomplished that.  They love the play area/daycare at the grocery store so they are at least getting there once a week even if we don't manage to get elsewhere.  So, yes, once a week, but I think we need to make next years goal 2-3 times a week.

4)  Teach rather than do

Still not very good at this one.  Better than I was a year ago, but still need improvement.

5) and 6) Work harder at pottery / do craft fairs 

This was in fits and spurts this year.  But I did get some good things accomplished.  I set up an Etsy shop, got a wholesale order, and did a craft fair.

7)  Get a part time job before next Christmas

Mission accomplished!  I started a new part time job about 3 months ago that is flexible and works around my husbands schedule.  We are currently figuring out some work from home tasks so I can get a few more hours a week.

8) Spend an hour improving the house every day

I'm going to say I did that about every other day.

9) Spend more time with K 

Still working on this.  We just put in a renewed effort to put down our phones when we're together.  Unfortunately, it's still an effort.

10) Put a book together

Nope.  Didn't happen.  Didn't even begin to happen.

All in all, I think I did pretty good!  The fact that some of these resolutions are still on my mind and I'm still making an effort a year later, I think that's a win.  More to work on obviously, but New Years is coming and we'll see what we can do to get even better.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday season self promotion

I try to keep this blog away from being all sorts of spammy, but it's that time of year when I'd like to see my Etsy or Artfire shop get a little more traffic.

I've spent the last year working on Christmas ornaments on the wheel and some new styles of pottery mugs.  If you're a fan of things unique, beautiful, and long lasting, please visit either my Etsy store, or my Artfire shop while looking for gifts this holiday season.

Here's a taste of my holiday goodies -

Translucent pottery Christmas ornament w metallic gold branches and flowers and white dove, artisan heirloom ornament, Christmas gift  Blue 12oz wheel thrown pottery coffee mugs in agateware style, swirled clay, white, unique mugs, rustic  Christmas ornaments - glazed pottery decor, red brown, natural - one of a kind artisan heirloom piece, ceramic seasonal Christmas present  Three ceramic Christmas ornaments in a yellow and purple glaze, with a delicate pink floral design.

Twin things I'm thankful for

I'm loving watching the interaction develop more and more every day.  The girls are almost 2 1/2 and they are really starting to develop a relationship with each other.  A few moments I want to capture -

- When we get them out of bed, we generally get one up, take off her sleep sack, take her into the living room for a diaper change, and then have her go play while we repeat the process.  In recent weeks, the one we get up first will immediately run back to the bedroom, burst open the door and run to the crib saying "Hiiiii" to the other one.  They know where their sister is and they want to be with her!

- K took the girls to the daycare at the grocery store the other day and when he returned, the ladies reported their behavior.  As we know, Teeny Tiny is the dominate and often steals from Middie Biddie.  She's getting better about this, she doesn't outright steal anymore, but rather she gets so interested in whatever MB is playing with that she investigates and often takes over and MB will give up her toy and move on to something else.  So it was reported to us that TT steals toys from MB, but if any other kid takes something from MB, TT gets really upset and mad!

- They understand the need to wait.  They know that dinner won't be served to the first one to get into her seat until the other is in her seat as well.  They don't have that self centric view of the world that everything is about what they want the moment they want it.  They just get it that there are delays and waiting is a part of life.

- TT makes sure MB has whatever she needs for an activity.  Whether it be a toothbrush or a teddy bear, she will make sure her sister has one.

- They finally figured out that they can play ball together and don't necessarily need me!  They still prefer that I play too, but now they can play with each other if I have other things to do.

- I'm thankful that one of the first thoughts the girls have chosen to express without prompting is "I'm tired".  Yes, TT will tell US when it's bedtime.  Awesome!

- I love hearing random giggles from another part of the room and discover the girls playing a new game together.

I'd like to hold on to this stage for a while.  This is good.  Very good.

On an upswing

Things for our household have been on a downward trajectory for a while, but after applying a little gumption and stick-to-itiveness, I think we're on the climb back up.

As you may recall, K was feeling down about his career prospects and just general position in life.  While he loves the dad thing and is grateful for a steady job that doesn't outright suck every single day, he was in quite a rut of not doing much of anything other than work and parenting.  Doing a lot of existing, but not a lot of living.

As written about in the last blog post, K and I figured out that a lot of my exhaustion and low self esteem was due to decision fatigue.  He just let's me handle everything and as a result, I'm responsible for everything that goes wrong.  After our talk, things are going a lot better on that front.  It's hard to change a lifetime of habit and way of being, but K is really giving it an effort.  We set up some apps on our phone where we can list tasks that need to be accomplished, either short term or long term, and I'm trusting him a little more to look at it and take ownership of some of them.  As a result, I'm able to relax a little bit and not be so damned on top of everything all the time.  We also decided that he would be responsible for determining bath time for the girls and so far, just when I'm starting to wonder if he's going to remember, he does.  So that's one less thing on my plate.

Along with the household stuff, he's also starting to remember why he got into retail in the first place - to have a flexible schedule to allow him to pursue acting.  Now, with me working part time and being a father (and actually enjoying being a father), doing plays just isn't really in the cards right now.  That's simply too much time commitment that we don't have.  But I found a couple of opportunities for him and while I had to pull him kicking and screaming into following up on those opportunities, it looks like they are going to work out pretty well.

The first is a temporary gig - acting as Santa for video chats with kids.  Parents send in the information like the kids name, age, the things to be proud of, the things to work on, and K will then make a video greeting card type thing as Santa that encompasses all of that information for that child.  It's actually pretty damned cool.

The other seems to be more long term - he's been hired as a wedding MC at one of the larger DJ companies in the area!  He'll soon start shadowing other MC's for training, and then he'll be able to book gigs throughout the year.  How awesome is that?!  A little extra income, my social butterfly can stretch his wings, exercise those performance muscles, and when you put yourself out in front of people, who knows what person with what additional opportunity might see you.

It's K's turn.  When we first got together, we decided I would support him for a time while he pursued his dreams.  Then after a while, he supported me while I pursued mine.  That sounds wrong, that sounds like one person does all the work while the other goes flitting around doing whatever they feel like doing.  No, neither one of us has the personality that would allow us to drop all responsibility, but rather it's about who's goals are the focus for a few years.  It's been my turn for far too long, it's K's turn again.  Until the girls are in school full time, he needs to focus on making some headway on getting where he wants to go.

As for me, my job is working out pretty well.  The boss is really flexible and seems very happy with me as an employee.  We are discussing the possibility and logistics of me being able to do some of the work at home.  There's not a whole lot that can be done remotely just because of the nature of the work, but we might be able to work out a way to put in an hour or so every day from home so I'm only really needed on site for one full day a week.  Or maybe I can do some of the reports in the morning at home and then drive in after rush hour to cut my commute time in half.  It's a work in progress and I'm just glad I have the kind of boss who's open to considering such things that will make life easier for me.  If it works out, it means much less time away from home OR the same amount of time away from home, but earning money for a few more hours per week.  Either way, win!

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.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A state of transition

It's been a busy couple of weeks!  Let's get updated.

I got that job that I talked about in my last post so I am now officially employed part time.  I've only worked 2 days so far, but it seems to be going well.  At the same time, I'm also trying to do a few hours of the work at home job per week.  And still at the same time, a shop owner contacted me about doing some wholesale for my pottery, so I've been producing like crazy to fill her first order.

For about a week, any minute that K was home, I was in the studio making mugs.  I have missed that so much!  It's one of those things that you forget how important it is to you until you start doing it again.  But now that the spark is back, I don't really have time to do it.  Fortunately this shop owner is talking about a Valentines order, a Mothers Day order, etc etc.  I found that with this first order, it took me only a couple of days to get it all made, but now I have to sit and wait for it all to dry before I can do the next step.  So I'm hoping that every 2-3 months, I'll have an order that takes about 3 solid days of work to fulfill like this one.  But we'll have to see how well things sell in her shop before we start seriously talking about future orders.

Scheduling has become a major issue around here.  K works retail so his schedule is never consistent.  On top of that, the way things work at his store have changed, primarily delivery times and frequency and other managers going on vacation, so just as I'm trying to establish some sort of schedule with my new job, everything we knew about his scheduling patterns have been thrown out the window and things are in too much of a state of flux to establish a new pattern.  This is totally stressing me out.  My boss is flexible which is great, but I can't even give him some sort of pattern to flex around.  Never knowing what days I can work the following week until we're right on top of it, well I'm nervous that the patience for this isn't going to last very long since my new boss doesn't know my value as an employee well enough to put up with it indefinitely.

Anyway, this all culminated into about a week or two where I was running like crazy and the girls and I barely saw each other.  It was kind of refreshing for me, rushing around accomplishing things, having responsibilities other than what the girls want of me at any given moment.  I've started feeling like a person again rather than just a lump that serves food.  It's also making me more interactive in the time I do have with them.

However, Middie Biddie isn't handling the change very well.  She's always been somewhat clingy and I think these periods of absence are giving her some separation anxiety.  She's crying a lot more during times that I need to tend to TT (like diaper changes).  K says that yesterday morning she was crying at our bedroom door, he thinks because usually when he gets them up, he's letting me sleep in a little bit and he thinks she thought that's where I was.

Last night was just awful.  She cried and screamed at bedtime and for a long time after lights out.  Usually when we put them into their cribs, Teeny Tiny snuggles down and is happy, Middie Biddie protests and cries.  We leave the room and within a minute she stops crying and starts singing or babbling.  Sometimes TT will join her and it turns into a giggling slumber party for a while.  Then TT gets tired and lies down to go to sleep leaving MB alone so MB starts crying.  Or if there hasn't been a party, MB will sing and babble to herself for about 45 minutes before starting to cry.  We check on her to make sure she hasn't pood (she does that at nap time, as soon as she relaxes, she poos, and then she gets a rash).  How she responds to the diaper check is what informs us about how to handle her not sleeping.  Usually, she's very smug and wants to chat and has a perfectly dry diaper.  In other words, she won.  We give her a minute or two of snuggles, tell her it's night night and she either goes right to sleep, or she cries until she figures out it won't work a second time.

But last night was different.  Her crying last night wasn't her trying to manipulate, it was genuine fear and distress.  So I spent about 4 hours trying to find the balance between not teaching her that manipulation will work, while at the same time calming her distress.  When I would go in and hold her, it would take her a couple of minutes to calm down (with manipulation, she's fine the moment one of us enters the room).  She would flop on me and start to relax but kept holding onto me.  The moment I would try to put her into the crib, she would scream just as stressed as before.  So until she finally passed out after midnight, I spent the night pacing around trying to figure out if I should let her fade out and it just might take a while, or go into a cycle of soothing then distress, soothing then distress, which would ultimately last a lot longer.  I ended up with the latter because I decided that fear of abandonment wasn't going to be cured by being abandoned.

I just put them to bed and it sounds like it's going to be the same tonight.*

In happier developments, itsy bitsy spider has become a number one hit.  TT keeps asking "again???" when I do it, and the other day MB busted out with "one more time!"  I laughed for quite a while from surprise on that one.

*Update!  She screamed a bit and after a few minutes, I got on the monitor and told her that I was here, and I needed her to snuggle down so I could sing the night night song again.  It took her a minute to believe me, but she sat down.  I told her to put her head on the pillow so I could sing.  She did, I did.  Didn't hear another peep out of her!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The dial goes to 11

Oh good lord!  It's like someone flipped a switch and girls suddenly realized they are 2 and must begin acting like it!

Everything around me seems to be flipping on its ear.  K is job/career hunting.  Fortunately he's safe where he is, but he's ready to try to find more.

At the same time, I'm trying to find some significant part time work.  I've found a legit work at home job that allows me to work a little bit, but of course it's difficult to work when the girls want my attention and due to security issues, I'm not supposed to do the work in public places (like a coffee

shop).  So while it seemed like a perfect solution, it's working out to be a "meh" solution.  I may have stumbled onto a solution to that today.  When I went to a coffee shop that has free daycare, the antivirus on my phone asked if I wanted to download an add on that would allow a secure connection.  I'm checking that out and if it works, it means I'll be able to take the girls down to the Y or to the grocery store, take advantage of an hour or so of free daycare while I sit in connected lobbies and coffee shops to work.  I also had a phone interview yesterday with an in person interview next week.  It seems very promising.  About 15 hours a week, flexible schedule, keep your fingers crossed.

As for the girls, I don't even know where to start.  I guess we'll start with language.  Teeny Tiny has exploded with language, able to identify just about everything around her, make requests (againnnn???? so cute) and is generally understanding a lot more.  Middie Biddie is still more of a singer than a speaker, but individual words are starting to creep into her vocabulary.

They are no longer satisfied in the house.  Well, at least Middie Biddie isn't.  She goes to the gates and cries and just wants out.  I think there are a couple of things going on with her.  The first and most obvious, she's simply bored and wants to explore all the things we've prevented her from exploring thus far.

The other may not be quite as obvious but possibly bigger problem is the whole introvert/extrovert thing.  I really think Middie Biddie wants to simply have some time to herself, to focus on a toy, to interact with one person on her terms.  However, she has this extroverted twin that's making these desires very difficult.  The moment she looks at anything, her sister comes barreling over to see and take what it is she finds so interesting.  MB will be happily playing with a toy and Teeny Tiny will run over and give her a ball and practically sit on top of her to get her to play.  MB simply gets no peace.  She can't even sit in a chair without TT coming over to sit on top of her in it.

Our house is basically one giant room with a couple of bedrooms.  I'm not comfortable letting the girls play behind a closed door because that means someone doesn't have my eyes on them.  So that means that anywhere MB can get to, so can TT.  For an introvert, this is kind of a nightmare.  I get it, I understand her problem and what has her so stressed all the time, but I haven't figured out how to solve it.

We now have to completely redo the structure of the house.  MB climbed over a gate today meaning everything that we had safely outside of the gates is now fair game and the gates have to come down.  So the first thing we've done is start reorganizing and baby proofing the kitchen.  This became necessary because MB will just scream at the gate until we let her go in to explore.  It's been a very messy week.  We've done our best to move all of the plastic items to reachable shelves and drawers and all of the breakable, sharp, and heavy items up out of reach.  I hardly know how to function in there at the moment.

The other thing we've done is to curtain off my office/girls play room.  I'm kind of hoping that this will allow MB to kind of escape out of sight out of mind style and get a little bit of peace from TT.  We just put the curtain up last night and I took the girls out for most of their morning, so they haven't really figured it out yet.  There were some peekaboo games with it, we'll see how it goes.

Teeny Tiny had a rough week of teething at least one of her second year molars.  About 4 days of just screaming in pain, drool dripping from her mouth, the occasional drop of blood from her gums.  It was just awful.  But she seems to have survived and is much better now!

Behavior wise, they are changing again.  Becoming much more frustrating.  Throwing things when they're mad, that kind of thing.  We're at the beginning of a very long discipline learning curve.  Things were pretty easy before last month because they had a desire to cooperate.  Just show them what you want and they would want it too.  That's no longer the case.  We don't even get snuggles at bedtime anymore, they spend 20 minutes giggling and chasing each other around the room while we sit and watch them burn off the energy.  The real work of parenting toddlers begins.