My Story

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

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!