Monday, December 17, 2012

A bright spot

Like many of you, I have been feeling very low listening to the news lately.  I don't think my gift from this year's craft exchange could have come at a better time.  It is heartwarming to know that someone could take time out of their busy lives to make something so nice for a complete stranger.

I got this in the mail on Saturday from the family at

My crummy cell phone picture does not do this craft justice.  It looks professionally made.  If I had seen this in a store, I totally would have bought it.  The colors are great in my home, and the red is a perfect match for my couch.  The kids love it too-  they are really into letters, so they constantly want to be held up to get a better look.  Best of all, now I have a new blog to follow!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

to my craft exchange recipient...

The kind folks at UPS just let me know that my package for the craft exchange was delivered.  Fingers crossed it is in one piece.  Once again, I am feeling like my craft looks like crap compared to the other crafts I've seen so far, so I tried to round out the package with some baking.  And once again, I forgot to get a card for my recipient. So I scrawled out a note to stick in the package as the UPS guy who does the deliveries where I work waited impatiently at  for me to tape the damn thing up already.  My apologies to my secret gift recipient.  I also swore that I'd post more this month, so that whoever drew my name wouldn't feel like they were making a craft for the biggest slacker in blogland, but that didn't go so well either.  Maybe next year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Making boys be boys

A few months ago, we attended a county fair with a family we met through our mothers of multiples group.  This family also has boy / girl twins, and they're exactly one month younger than our kids.  We socialize with them about once every 2-3 months, and the kids have a great time together.  On this particular day, when it came time to say goodbye, their little girl gave both our kids a little hug and kiss.  Their little boy tried to do the same, approaching our son first.  His mother immediately yanked him back.  "Caden!*  You're a boy, you high-five!" she shrieked.  Her not-yet-two-year-old just stood there looking bewildered.  And my heart broke just a little bit. 

My son is, without a doubt the most affectionate human being I have ever encountered.  He asks to be picked up because he just wants to plant kiss after kiss on your cheek.  He loves to hug his sister.  He even hugs and kisses his dogs.  When we brought the kids to Sesame Place, we had to pry him away from Oscar because he had nuzzled so deeply into the crook of the cranky muppet's neck.  I know he won't be like this forever, and I can't imagine trying to squash it out of him.  It makes me so sad to know that Caden has that sweetness in him too, yet his parents are training him to be like his father and have the emotional range of a paper clip. 

Today, I went to a Thanksgiving potluck at my kids daycare.  There were two other moms there who know each other socially.  They were encouraging their sons to fight each other on the playroom floor.  They caught the moment on their cell phone cameras as they shouted things like "pin him, tackle him, get him in a headlock".  The more aggressive the boys became, the more the mothers cheered them on.  My own son sat in my lap and watched, and showed no interest in joining in.  As soon as the other moms left the room, the two boys actually ran around holding hands.  I wonder what the mothers would  have to say to that. 

I am sure that many people out there think I am doing my son a disservice.  That I am not preparing him for the real world.  That he'll be in for a big shock when he gets older and realizes that hugging his friends isn't allowed.  That he won't be rough and tumble aggressive enough to be friends with the other boys.  Maybe they're right.  I'm not trying to say that one way of raising a boy is better than the other. Still, it makes me sad to see boys being pushed to behave a certain way.

*This name, like all names of this blog, has been changed in order to protect anonymity

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sesame Place

Hi all-

The weather is supposed to be nice this Saturday, so we're thinking of going to Sesame Place.  If anyone wants to connect there, just send me an email or post a comment!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Number 3, and Buyer Beware

I got an email from my friendly neighborhood cryobank the other day letting me know that my storage contract was set to expire on *insert date one week prior to the date the email was sent*.  Thanks for the warning cryobank!  We're still unsure about # 3 so naturally I panicked, and immediately signed up for another year of sperm storage hoping that it would be enough time to make a decision.  

Before we had kids, my partner and I had such a clear plan of how things would work.  I'd have our first baby, and then roughly 2 years later she'd get pregnant with our second.   But then we had twins.  And we've had to re-think things.  Did we want two kids, or two pregnancies?  We both have younger brothers, so the idea of an older sibling / younger sibling dynamic has always had appeal.  And there is something so exciting about pregnancy, and meeting a new baby for the first time.  It makes me sad to think that I might not get to experience that again.  I love being a parent to twins, but sometimes it's hard to know that my baby days might be done, that I got it all over in one shot. 

I am not ready to call it quits yet, but we have no immediate plans for a third.  For starters, we don't even know who'd carry our third child.  As time goes by, Elizabeth has less and less interest in being pregnant and says that she'd be more likely to have me get pregnant again.  I'm okay with that since I had a really easy pregnancy and delivery, but I worry that she'd change her mind a few years down the line and we'd end up going for #4.  And then there are the logistics of it all.  How the hell would I go for morning monitoring (my clinic does monitoring from 6-8am) with 2 kids in tow?  It will definitely be different the second time around.  If there is a second time.

And just as the panic of making a decision wore off, I looked at my credit card statement.  The cryobank had charged me TWICE for the storage.  When I was finally able to get ahold of someone about the charge, they confirmed that the second charge was accidental.  When they discovered that they had charged my card twice, they credited my account with them.  They didn't put the money back on my credit card, they just gave me a $450 credit to spend with them.  Money that I'm not sure I would ever want to spend.  

Yes, I eventually got the charge thing straightened out, but if you use a certain sperm bank-C.a.l.i.f.o.r.n.i.a C.r.y.o.b.a.n.k, make sure you pay close attention to the charges!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

the good stuff

I feel the need for a ranting post coming up soon. Just to show that I'm not entirely a negative Nellie, I thought I'd share a bit about what's awesome right now.

*The kiddos really are BFFs. He calls her Yaya, and she calls him Mano. I think I am going to use these for their bloggy names, since I have been struggling to come up with something to call them. So from here on out, baby girl is Yaya, baby boy is Mano. Until I change my mind again.

*Yaya is my little daredevil and loves slides. Even the steep one in our backyard that allows her to catch some air. She tries to turn everything into a slide, like the little foot on our trestle table, or a sleeping mom.

*They have discovered Elmo and are OBSESSED. You know those old clips of teenage girls screaming and jumping when they see the Beatles getting off a plane? That's what Yaya did the other day when she woke up and discovered she was still wearing her Elmo jammies.

*They play a little game that I call "nap". Yaya lies down on the floor on her belly and says "night night". Mano brings a blanket over and gently drapes it over her, then sits beside her and rubs her back while she pretends to sleep.

*Any time I place food in front of him, Mano gives a very dramatic Oooooooo, as if I have just brought him something tremendously exciting and delicious. It makes me feel good about my cooking.

*Although they are entering bit of that toddler "I'm going to be picky about what I eat just because I can" phase, they are still pretty good eaters. Mano could probably polish off an order of tandoori chicken on his own, and Yaya seems to have a taste for spicy food and good olives.

*I think Mano has a few crushes at daycare. On the drive home, he'll say things like "Gia pretty" "Adhya pretty", referring to the girls in his class. I think we are in trouble.

*They look out for each other. If you give Yaya one of something, she will say "Mano" until you give her a second one that she can bring to her brother. When it's time to leave daycare at the end of the day, Mano always brings his coat and his sister's coat. He tries to help her put it on, with very limited success.

*I think Mano had aspirations to be a janitor. He loves mops, brooms, swiffers, vacuums and steam cleaners. If you give him a baby wipe or tissue, he'll start dusting the furniture.

*We did everything wrong with sleep in the beginning. The kids were nowhere near sleeping through the night. About a month and a half ago, we finally decided it was time to make changes and things have been going really well. There have been, and I know there will continue to be setbacks but overall the change has been phenomenal.

*They kiss the pictures of dogs in their books.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The toddler lunch table

I like food. I like cooking food, eating food, watching TV shows about food, even looking at pictures of food online. Before my kids were born, I decided that I would do whatever I had to do to ensure that they'd be good eaters. I think we're doing a halfway decent job so far. We always eat dinner as a family, even though that means that the meal is a bit more frenzied, and served a bit earlier than the adults would like. The kiddos are fairly adventurous, and will at least taste anything we put in front of them.
I searched high and low looking for the right food containers to send to daycare. I wanted something that was leakproof. I wanted something microwave safe. I wanted compartments, but I wanted the option that some of the compartments could be kept cold and others could be heated. We've been using this, and so far been really happy with it. I do my best to make sure to pack a variety of different things. The daycare teachers report that the kids love to eat.

But then they moved to the toddler room. And the daycare provides food for kids in the toddler room and up. Some parents still pack lunches, but I think most happily let their kids eat what is provided. From what I can see, the meals are a rotation of hot dogs, pizza, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, ziti, and mac and cheese (no joke, just 6 items). The sides are canned fruit, and canned veggies topped with a healthy dose of country crock. Not exactly the quality or variety I want my kids eating every day. So I've continued to pack lunches. But their end of the day reports show that the kids have been getting daycare food too. Nobody even asked me if it was okay to give to them.

For a few days, I struggled over how to address this. It appears that most of the kids there eat the daycare food. I didn't want to be know as the bitch who thinks her kids are too good for the food that is perfectly fine for all the other kids. The head teacher, who I needed to talk to about the issue was out for a few days, so that bought my chickenshit ass as little more time. Besides, how much damage could a little grilled cheese do. But then it happened. Somebody gave my kids chicken nuggets. Chicken nuggets scare me. It pushed me to stop being a wimp, and I talked to someone immediately. Though of course, I couldn't bring myself to say that I thought the food they served was poor quality and I didn't want my kids to have it. I just asked if there was a problem with the food I was sending, or if I wasn't sending enough. It turns out that, being typical toddlers, my kids just want what all the other kids have if their own lunch isn't one of their favorites. Apparently, they cry, whine, point and beg when they see that other kids are eating something different.

I'm at a bit of a loss on what to do. I don't want my kids to be hungry, and I know that there is not enough staff at the daycare to sit with them for however long it takes to decide they're willing to eat what I've packed. And it's impossible to force feed a toddler. They can't be separated from the other kids at mealtimes. Because I was in a hurry to get to work, the only thing I could think to say at the time was that I didn't want them getting any meat. I figure that's the worst of the stuff they'd be getting there. At the moment, I think my best option for dealing with the other stuff is to pack the tried and true stuff they love for their lunches, in the hopes that it distracts them from the other stuff. I've been wrestling with the way I've handled the situation all day, wondering if I made the right choice. I can't decide if it's better for them to eat something that's not what I would chose to serve, or be hungry. Am I being a food snob by saying I don't want them eating daycare food, or am I being irresponsible for not stopping it immediately? In the meantime, if anyone has any toddler friendly recipes they'd like to share, I'm all ears!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The February Gayby Newsletter

So I suppose it's time for my monthly blog post. Speaking of monthly, I just got my first postpartum period. I was not looking forward to that. I had hoped that breastfeeding would have kept it away longer, but I've been pumping a lot less, so maybe that's to blame.
On the fun side of things, the kids have moved up to the next room at daycare. The first room, the infant room, is for babies age 6 weeks to 18 months. Our kids were the oldest in there, and were obviously getting really bored. The room is filled with swings and bouncers, definitely geared more toward the younger children in the room. Now they're in a room with activities and things to climb on (things that they're actually supposed to be climbing on) and kids who are communicating verbally. I don't think they got talked to very much in the infant room. I'm hoping that being in a room full of talkers helps with their language skills. They've only got around 20 or 30 words at last count, and their pronunciation is not so great. I think my love and I are the only ones who can understand what they are saying most of the time. In the short time that they've been in the toddler room, they're already starting to make more efforts with talking and their pronunciation is getting clearer.

I know everyone says this about every age, but this really is a fun age. Challenging, but fun. They are so sweet to each other. If one is crying, the other will bring a stuffed animal or sippy cup, or anything they think will help. Melts my heart every time. It is definitely on of the best things about having twins.

Our little Bean is the helper, and the comedian. She loves putting things away, and I think the toybox itself may be her favorite toy. The other day we had a little coffee pot mishap, which sent coffee grounds flying. Before I could get the dustbuster out to clean up the mess, baby girl had grabbed a tissue and started wiping the floor. She loves to attempt to dress herself. Sometimes, it's all part of her comedy routine. Like when she puts a pair of pants on her head and parades around the room. She knows she's being silly, and will pause what she's doing to be sure she has an audience. She loves to make people laugh. The other day, her trick was pretending to sleep at the lunch table.

Her brother on the other hand is more likely to be climbing on the lunch table. He is an active, active boy. In one quick movement, he can effortlessly climb onto a dining room chair. He climbs everything. He also has a thing for brooms / vacuums / mops and swiffers. He's got some kind of broom radar, and will make a beeline for the thing any time he enters a room where a floor cleaning implement is present. A broom can keep him entertained for minutes on end. He also loves books. If you make the mistake of sitting on the floor, there's a good chance he'll plop onto your lap with a book. And you will have to read that book at least 3 times. He's also very sensitive, and very very affectionate. Sometimes he'll just drop what he's doing in order to give you a big hug and kiss. He loves to pet and hug his very patient dogs.

I know I'm biased, but I think these kids are awesome.

pretending to sleep at the table. an ingenious way to get out of an awkward conversation. if you look closely, you can see she's smiling at her own cleverness.

this dog puts up with so much