the brink

16 Dec

tomorrow my sweet sweet babies will be two. two whole years old. 731 days old (thanks to a leap year in there). i wish i could say i remember them all. i wish i could say they have all been easy. and fun. and i have never felt overwhelmed. exhausted. or downright depressed. but that would not be true. my children are indeed the lights of my life. i cannot imagine who or where i would be without them. they bring me immeasurable joy. and at time intense anger. and extreme sadness. hook was indeed my first wish. and the wigglers – they were my little miracles. it took years. and i must say i think those years were needed. i grew. i learned. i changed. i learned how to parent. and i believed that i deserved to parent these amazing little beings.

i look at them now. tonight. sleeping. in their cribs at the moment (but as you all know that is subject to change at any moment). they have no idea that tomorrow is momentous. no idea this is the anniversary of their birth. no concept of what it took to make them. grow them. or give birth to them. but i do. those days i remember so very clearly. the procedures. the months of pregnancy. the immense swelling of my belly as two little lives kicked around inside. the incredible love i felt for them from the instant i saw them on the ultrasound screen and the overwhelming fear i often felt at the thought of anything happening to either of them. once i saw them both i knew they needed one another. loved one another. and were a pair. and indeed they are.

i will not say the past year has been easy. in some ways it has actually been more difficult than the first year. most days i feel like i am just trying to survive them. i have little people now not little babies. they run. and jump. and climb EVERYTHING. they throw things. hit one another. and belly laugh nonstop. they cry. and can only sometimes articulate what they want or need. they are best friends. and worst enemies. but in the end they rely on one another. whether it is to push things together to escape from a room (lord help me). or to cuddle and rub one anothers back. or to share snacks and toys. i have been driven past the point of exhaustion. and held completely captive by how amazing it is to watch them grow and change by leaps and bounds on a daily basis. at times i cannot help but laugh when magoo says “damn cindy lou is upstairs again” or “no magoo. we don’t hit. time out for you.” they are coming into their own. so different in so many ways and still bound together in so many others. as much as i wonder how we get through the days at times i could not imagine it any other way – nor would i want to. they are individuals. with their own needs. their own wants. and their own directions (usually opposite). but they also are my little pair of babies. heathens. goons. monsters. love muffins. and miracles. with an amazing big brother who provides an exceptional example of love. life. and kindness.

happy second birthday my littlest loves. you have enriched my life far more than you will ever know. you were so worth the wait.

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where it’s at…

5 Dec

two turn tables and a microphone. or not. so yeah. not sure where i left off. magoo is back in his crib. m turned it around so the higher part is in front and for some reason this has confounded him… not sure why but i will take however many days it buys me. tough his new schtick at bedtime is screaming to “get down. get down.” so one of us usually needs to sit in there nearly forever until he falls asleep. cindy lou usually happily chats, sings, or browses through books. she can get out without issue but for whatever reason she has seemingly called a hiatus on crib escapes. i will take it. knock on something large and made of pine please….

oh and then there is work. so for the past few or eight months i have been working part time. mostly from home. i am (regrettably perhaps) one of those legal types. i contacted the company i used to work for and they had some availability for me so i took it. twenty hours a week. i commissioned a nanny part-time (former day care worker at hooks daycare) for about ten hours a week. and all was going swimmingly. kind of. working with kids at home is hard. they have no interest in you working while they are awake. and when they aren’t awake you have a million other things to do. including nap. i must admit that when the wigglers were little i NEVER EVER napped. seriously. i was so sleep deprived but i could not nap. now i am all about it. i sleep horribly so an hour or two of shut eye in the afternoon is pure bliss. anyhow. back to work. i am technically a contractor. my own business. self employed. i even have a fancy LLC and all that. and business banking accounts (i won;t recount that story but suffice it to say i doubt the banker will forget it anytime soon). so all is going along sideways swimmingly. not dead. but not all that great either. and I get a phone call. new policy for company A. 40 hours or nothing. this is Wednesday late afternoon. they would like an answer by Friday. at the latest. i won’t lie. the money is lucrative. the work. boring as all get out. but the opportunity to put my family in a better place is enticing. and i feel like i should be able to do it (based on the principle that sleep is not really necessary). so m and i discuss. and as reluctant as i am. for oh so many reasons i concur. and so it is. full time contractor beginning next week. but i only contacted the nanny for 28 hours. hmm. this seems difficult. impossible – no. problematic – yes. i feel like a magician nervous for their first trick. or a race car driver embarking on innumerable laps hoping not to crash. we shall see. is this where i want to be? not even close. is it where we might need to be right now? perhaps…

i know so many out there work in cyber land work with one or more kids. but full time without full time help, three kids, two dogs (including a lovely neurotic sweet weimeraner),  a cat, and five non-egg producing chickens…. any advice is appreciated and much needed…

the boy on the floor

29 Nov

oh magoo. yeah he is anti-crib. i get it. he is over it. so he climbs out. and cries. it is sad. and depressing. especially when you can see it on the monitor. i watched his expert moves on the screen and i must admit i was impressed. cindy lou was not entirely moved by his escape. well that isn’t entirely true… i know baby girl would be out in the bat of an eye if she was 3 inches taller. or started stacking things. i don’t think it will take all that long. so what am i to do. clearly the cribs are out. or at least magoos. turning it into a toddler bed seems pointless. he sleeps on the mattress on the floor happily. contentedly. doesn’t move around too much. in the morning tells me to turn off the white noise machine. the heater. and the lights. he tosses his pacifier in his crib (yes he still has one – they both do – judge all you want, but i am exhausted and if it helps i am willing to go with it for now…).

and that is where we are. riveting i know. i have gotten a good amount of advice and suggestions via FB and i will likely be implementing them this weekend. honestly my biggest concerns are naps. they need them. seriously they do. or i need them to take them. either way. i am resigned. i can’t keep fighting it. it is what it is. and we will get to an okay point. it just might take a bit…

in the next episode of this boring blog… changes to work. or how i attempt to complete 40 hours of work without 40 hours of child care. ooh fun.

 

two nights. or less.

28 Nov

two nights was all it took for the boy to make his escape. i saw it coming. naps and bed time he kept hoisting himself up on the corner. the edge. last night when i went in to check on them magoo started crying. so i picked him up. rocked him. and then being exhausted i laid down on the mattress on the floor. and fell asleep. as did the boy. so really one night he slept in his crib. two naps. and one night. cindy lou is shorter. by a few inches. and she loves her sleep. so she hasn’t made any attempted escapes as of yet. i checked magoo’s crib to see if he hoisted himself up on a book. a stuffed animal. some combination. nothing. he just made it out.

back to the drawing board.

**le sigh**

 

return of the cribs

27 Nov

so i wasn’t entirely sure it would work. the transition to toddler beds. and well it definitely did not. i honestly believe they are too young for it. being tired is one thing but then actually knowing that means you should lay down and go to sleep is another… i’m not all that good at it either.

cindy lou was pretty sick last week with roseola – high temps and miserable followed by the tell tale rash. so i reassembled her crib (ie put the front back on and she slept well in it) but every morning she was out. in the glider reading. or in her brothers better or bopping around doing whatever. magoo on the other hand was all over the darn place. i put a double mattress on the floor and spent most nights sleeping there. after allowing magoo to bounce and run and jump. naps were just not happening for the boy either. and in his finest form he would try as hard as possible to wake his sister. and then i would bring him downstairs and he would be miserable and it was fun for everyone.

yesterday was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak… i woke up at 6 and showered. i could hear the little monkeys in their room but opted to shower before retrieving them. when i walked in to their room (it was still considerably dark out) i spotted a pair of eyes looking at me from on top of the dresser. oh wait – two sets of eyes. so i snapped a few pics. and then removed the children. thanking someone that i had enough foresight to anchor the dresser to the wall. seriously. it is hard not to laugh but scary at the same time…


m mentioned that she had an idea that just might work. so after i dropped hook at school we gave it a shot. basically we removed the metal frames that hold up the mattresses and put the mattresses on the floor. and voila 6-10 inches gained. i got in the cribs to ensure there were no spaces even as large as the space between the slats in the crib fronts. and then i wrapped the bottom support beams to ensure their little heads would not whack into them (though really they can hit their heads on the sides, the front, etc. but anyhow, i was making an effort…
so with this mission completed i took the wigglers to toddler open gym expecting them to run off some energy. of course since we were somewhere new they were hanging tight to my side. there were a few other kids there. most a bit older. and eventually they started partaking in the fun. riding on some toys. kicking balls around. going down slides. etc. but little running or insanity that i was hoping for until of course i had to almost wrestle magoo back into his jacket – you know the one he wouldn’t take off almost the whole time we were there. didn’t happen. (fail – it was 14 degrees – but you pick your battles right?) and the car was warm. so lunch and then nap. i was admittedly skeptical. and paranoid. but i deposited the little heathens  um angels in their cribs read a few books and hoped for the best. magoo was not so happy. a little yelling. but he quickly stopped. and cindy lou was out for the count almost immediately. i flipped on the sweet video baby monitor i picked up from craigslist at a super discount last week and waited. and all i heard was. nothing. well not nothing there is a white noise machine. but no fussing. no crying. no yelling for mom. or elway. or sadie (our dogs). so i peaked in from the double high fenced in door opening and lo and behold, they were asleep. aforementioned dogs went crazy when UPS guy showed so they were up after that but still. no struggle. just sleep. ahh.

and then bedtime approached. i was still a little skeptical. fine for a nap but bedtime. all night. was it safe? would they not freak out? they laid down and went to sleep. i checked on them. i had m go check on them and reposition the monitor so i could see both better. then i opted to sleep on the mattress on the floor just to be safe. i checked on each of them. and checked again. and again. uber paranoid. party of one right here. but they slept. so around 3:30 when it was clear i wasn’t getting any sleep if i stayed in there i went to my room. begged m to give me back my pillow and slept unsoundly for the rest of the night. and in the morning i opened to door and there were two munchkins. sitting in their cribs. reading. and laughing. and grunting back and forth to one another. can they talk? yes. but they still use this caveman like language between each other that i appreciate significantly.

so that is where we are. another successful nap today – so successful in fact i had to go wake them so we could retrieve hook from his after school activities. and bed time wasn’t as easy. magoo yelled a bit. cried for maybe five minutes. tried to climb out and then apparently gave up. i could hear cindy lou babbling to him so i cannot be sure if she was telling him to quiet down or if she was promising him they would devise a tried and true escape route tomorrow. either way sleep has returned. for the moment. and i will take it for however many days. weeks. months? it lasts.

and here is a picture that i kind of just enjoy…

transitions

17 Nov

yeah so things are all super exciting in our household. m is working nonstop in the retail world. yay holidays. hook is busy in school. enjoying it and hating it at the same time. and the wigglers are, well, on the move. they have been climbing out of their cribs for a while now. it is almost impressive to watch. cindy lou started it and has amazing uper body strength. i am considering taking her to the climbing gym with me. i have no doubt she could scale a wall in moments flat… and the magoo. he also hops out. but usually only when he has a purpose. like to tell us “cindy lou is upset” or “Cindy lou is in there”. and not only do they crib hop but they also hop over gates. seriously they may be part monkey (not sure what that says about me…). after a few nights of me sleeping on their (hardwood) floor to ensure they stayed in their cribs we opted to take the plunge. transition to toddler beds. at 23 months. and 1 day. 1 friggin day. too young. and that was reaffirmed this evening. after a rather difficult night where both wigglers ran amok in their room throwing books, clothing, and anything else they could find for over two hours i cleaned up and deposited them in their cribs. and laid down on the floor myself. and we all slept. i guess that is the benefit of pure exhaustion. around 2am i was able to escape into my own bed for a few hours…


this morning they were well miserable. tired and cranky and just not themselves. so we figured let’s give it a shot. toddler beds. easy enough to remove the front of their cribs (after toddler proofing their room). so m and hook headed out to assess a few bullseyes pre-turkey day and the wigglers and i embarked on toddler proofing. they were not entirely helpful except that they did make it abundantly clear that i should remove EVERYTHING from their rooms. pad the walls and put a mattress on the floor. sadly that isn’t likely to happen. so instead i anchored furniture to walls. moved books, toys, a side table, a lamp, etc. while they threw around more books. diapers. and emptied entire drawers of clothing onto the floor. after picking it all up and feeding them lunch i put them down for a nap. in their cribs. the exhaustion was evident and i was hopeful. they can nap. i can nap. perfect. and they did. not for too long but long enough. and i got a short nap in as well. and then cindy lou woke up screaming. and i went in. allen wrench in hand and removed the front of their cribs. magically transforming them into toddler beds. they were concerned. confused. and slightly distressed. but they hopped down and asked for a snack. after a rice cake or two they were significantly grumpy still. and i was not optimistic about the evening. m had picked me up a foam mat for the floor. and i secured the closet. and put up two gates in the open doorway – stacked one on top of the other. and bedtime rolled around. m and i brought them up. hook read a book or two. i laid out my mat and pillow. and they started running amok. back and forth between beds. jumping. laughing. crying. screaming. eventually they both laid down on the floor with me. fine as long as they sleep (despite the fact it was 7:30pm). cindy lou fell asleep. magoo pushed it and pushed it. eventually laying on my chest. and then poking his sister. who started sobbing and sobbing. i asked for reinforcements. m came up. and rocked. swayed. played soothing music. nothing seemed to help. so there i was. in the dark. at 8:30 at night. reinstalling crib fronts. it will have to work for now. and i may spend nights on their floor. their room is definitely safer now when they do climb out. and once in a while we might get some sleep. i will take it while we can.

yup twins are fun.

the good…and the rest of it

14 Nov

so let’s be honest…this pre-two twin stuff is pure insanity. maybe it is just my twins. perhaps i don’t know what i am doing. or i am doing it wrong. but these two are way more than a handful. they are a fistful. some days even a bucketful. i swear they are plotting ways to make me insane… no i am not paranoid. well, maybe. cindy lou is, um, spirited. i guess that is the best way to put it. this should not come as a surprise. in utero this is the child that was in an entirely different position every single ultrasound. i could see her flipping over completely in my uterus (i kind of miss that in a weird way). she is feisty. head strong. and defiant. she climbs EVERYTHING. out of her crib with an agility and upper body strength that would impress olympic athletes. she tumbles down things and gets up without a single tear. but she also screams. and screams. and sobs. wanting nothing to do with you. and leaving you no idea what to do with her. not something i am entirely accustomed too. but in the next minute she is asking for a hug. a kiss. she is laying with hook. or laughing with magoo. she is feeding the cat. and gently petting the dog. the other day we were at the store and in her sweet little raspy voice she told the checkout person “have a good day”. it was so adorable. and her laughter is contagious. she wants to read continuously. but she is a handful. give her an inch and she will run with that mile. if the doors are not closed she is upstairs in a flash. she climbs over gates and both into and out of her crib. she is the sole reason i am hesitant to set up a christmas tree this year… but wow is she cute. and she has the best stare down of anyone i know. feisty. and sweet. and indescribable. some days i think we need an exorcist. other days i wonder if we should clone her…

and magoo. my sweet sweet boy. he is a helper. puts the dishes in the sink. clothes in the washer. and steals baby wipes to clean furniture, pets, toys and his sister. he is my little re-peat. if i say it he is bound to say it shortly thereafter. he tells the dogs to leave the room when he is eating – in between tossing them food or feeding them spoonfuls of whatever he has. he tosses crackers into the heater. and runs like a bandit when given the chance. he is obsessed with his new monkey sneakers and proudly carries them around. he feeds the dogs. and pushes his sister down. he loves to be held. and refuses to hold anyones hand besides mine. he is easy to hold close and breathe in because he so desperately wants to be near you. and he dances. and dances. and dances. whenever he can. his favorite refrain lately is “different song. different song.” if he doesn’t like what is on. he is chatty. some babble. some super clear. but he is also defiant. influenced by his sister. and sinister in his own ways. but way more likely to follow directions and share. when prompted at least.

and then there is hook. the newly annointed eight year old. he reads voraciously. is obsessed with legos. and has developed a new desire to talk back. still skating the line between black and white there is little grey in his world. he is funny and kind and a fabulous big brother. he is willing to give. to help. and to share. but just as quick to feel ignored. he talks incessantly about everything and nothing. i try to catch it. breathe it in. remember being 8. but honestly it is so hard to put yourself back there. i can recall teachers and things i learned but much of everything else is patchy. confused. unclear as to time and place. there are of course poignant memories but the rest is a muddled mass. i just want to make sure that even in the midst of toddler chaos that is unlikely to improve for who knows how long that he is important. his thoughts matter. his feelings matter. and i would do anything for him.

three very very diverse and divergent personalities. magoo is much more similar to hook. mommy’s boys. looking for reassurance. hugs. just to know you are there. and then little cindy lou. the child who will likely be my demise. she is a mini me as far as looks. but personality. i dare to say i was not half as spiritely. it is also like you always need to be anticipating her next move just to ensure her safety. and your own sanity.

so yes. that is where we are. mid-november. tired. overwhelmed. excited. immersed in our lives. and trying to laugh our way through all of the insanity.