Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Last Night....

Last night as a family of 3
Last night L is my Baby Girl
Last night I will be pregnant with twins
Last night I might ever be pregnant again
Last night to feel L and O kicking inside
Last night for our house to be quiet at 10:00pm
Last night for sanity
Last night
Last night
Last night
Last night

I go in tomorrow morning at 6:30am to have my water broken. Praying and hoping all goes well. Can't wait to meet my new bundles of baby joys. Can't wait. Sad to be letting them detach from me, sad my baby girl has to become the big girl at 22 months. But so happy for her to be a big sister! Definitely more happy than sad.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sex at 37 weeks pregnant with twins

Here is how our conversation went this time:

Husband: are you ready for those babies to be born yet?

Me: yes

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yes, I can still tie my shoes...No, my baby was not due yesterday

I am certain at this point in my twin pregnancy I make people very uncomfortable. I am huge. And no one likes to look at a huge woman try to do things. It makes people stare wide-eyed. Plus everyone knows people say stupid things when they see someone pregnant. Here are a few recent things I've heard.

The most common conversation I've had lately has occurred over a dozen times. Someone asks me if I am having a boy or a girl. It is hard to ignore the conversation of twins when that question is asked. If I was having two girls, I might answer "girl" and move on or if I were having two boys, I might answer "boy" and move on. But...since I am having one boy and one girl, I find myself caught every time the question is asked. So I answer truthfully and say, "actually, I am having one of each". Immediately, the person turns to someone next to them and with full enthusiasm as if they just won the lottery they exclaim, "I told you she was having twins!". They are so proud of themselves for calling it before they asked. I guess I should be grateful they had enough tact to not flat out ask me if I was carrying twins...

Which brings me to the second most common conversation I've had lately. "Wow, you must be due any day." Sometimes I'll throw out there that my due date is a month away and yes, then they say, "well you must be carrying twins." Sometimes I tell them that I am due any day and they respond with, "well, it looks like you have two in there so you must be ready to drop. Or some people flat out ask, "are you pregnant with twins?" A woman today at lunch asked me if I was ready to drop and I said, actually, I am and I'm carrying twins. I volunteered the information for some reason because I know how big I am. The woman stared right at my stomach and said, "So that is what twins looks like, I have always wondered!" I've had other people say, "you are having twins, I thought you were supposed to get really fat with twins."

Just yesterday the mailman asked me if my baby was due yesterday. I told him, "yes, it was".

A few days ago I was at the bank ordering checks. I got to chit chatting with the women about my 2 year old and my husband and how everyone was and what it's like being pregnant with twins, etc, etc. I sat down to tie my shoe and when I looked up four women's jaws had dropped. One woman exclaimed, "oh my gosh! you can tie your shoes!!!" Yes, I can tie my shoes. "you must be really flexible" another woman said, "I could never tie my shoes once I hit 6 months pregnant with just one baby".

I've had complete strangers ask me for pregnancy advice, which I find odd, because I don't think I look that approachable. I'm starting to believe the "bigger" you are the more of an expert people think you are on pregnancy. One woman approached me in the grocery store and said, "I just found out I am three months pregnant. Do you think it is okay for me to drink caffeine?" Really? Really? I don't know. I told her she needed to ask her doctor. Another woman asked me if I had registered for a baby sling and what kind...and another asked where I bought my maternity clothes and what kind of shoes were the most comfortable. All strangers...

There are lots and lots of other funny and silly things that people have said. One lady in a parking said she just wanted to let me know that she did not know how to deliver a baby just in case I had my baby walking to the car.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nanny = Confident, Independent and Structured Mother

Today is my daughter's nanny's last day.  

I am so looking forward to being home with my daughter and my twins once they arrive. The last few years since we moved, I never really "found" my place at work. Although I have to admit, I've had a good run of it working from home since we moved and since my daughter has been born.

We first went through a few weeks of day care at the beginning - which were terrible weeks for us. It just didn't work for us. My daughter cried the entire day every day. I determined she was not the "daycare" type.  Then we went through 2 different nanny's before we found our beloved Emily.

I have this theory that having a nanny has made me a better mother and not for the reasons you've probably heard before: "I enjoy my children more because I'm not with them all day." That's not it for me.  It may sound completely ridiculous, granted it is a completely ridiculous theory, but it is my theory.  I've learned from watching others with my child, in my home, things that I like and things that I don't like which otherwise, I may have never noticed in myself. It's like looking in a mirror sometimes when you watch someone else with your children.

Here is a little background on our past nanny experiences and what I learned.

Lesson 1: Just becuase they look perfect on paper does not mean they are perfect. Our first nanny was a mother of three grown children. A missionary for 20 years, mentored young ladies in our church and a registered nurse. She was a lovely lady who just knew a little better than I did sometimes on how to raise my newborn.  She was also not flexible since she had her own children and responsibilities to care for. She did however always kept my house clean, did laundry and ironed! Swept, mopped, vacuumed, all of which I would probably die for now! But I never asked her to do these things so I found myself a little offended. And, as a new mom, I was worried my house was being more taken care of then my child. I would describe her as having the "grandmother" syndrom. She felt she had rights over my child because she was older and wiser than I was. I determined that my child is much more of a priority than clean clothes and clean floors and even though I was a new mom, no one knew better than me even if they had three grown children. I am in charge of what I want for my children.

Lesson 2: don't trust references; trust your instincts. Our second nanny was 26 and had been married for 7 years with no children of her own. She was sweet and very quiet. Had early childhood education background, knew baby sign language, was cpr certified and spoke a second language. I liked the way she interacted with my child. Needless to say, she never picked up a broom and I was happy about it because it made me feel like all the attention was on my child. This was until I started to notice that she was always typing and texting on her phone. When I walked into the room she looked "caught off guard" trying to put her phone down quickly. Really? Who is she emailing all day I wondered? It seemed strange. I found myself rushing to get home on days I had appointments or needed to travel for work. I started looking for things...I noticed that the babies Benadryl was disappearing in large portions. She said she was taking it for back surgery and was not allowed to swallow pills. That very day I got on the internet only to find photos of her wearing my clothes. She was a short lived nanny we had for maybe 3 months. I wanted to call all her references that all gave great reports and let them know what happen, but the  folder I kept that in no longer contained her reference sheet! Odd. This lesson we all know too well: never trust anyone with your children even when they come with good references.

I almost gave up then. As I have always had the "choice" to work. My husband was addiment that I stay home and take care of our daughter myself. And if I had a 8-5 job in an office I probably would have. But I've had the luxury of working from home and felt that I wanted the best of both. I wanted to  keep my identity as a working woman. I love the glamour of putting on an expensive business suite and taking designers and architects to lunch. I love the confidence it gives me, the independence and the structure. Three things I want for my children as well: confidence, independence and structure. I truly believe that working is not all selfish on my part, but is providing a role model for my children.  And at the same time I love being with my child. I've had all the flexibility in the world to spend as much time with her as I wanted and still work. Actually at first, even though I worked full time, I only had our nanny come Tuesday - Thurday and on Mondays and Fridays I got my work done during her naps and just made no appointments those days.

So...I gave it one more shot. This is when we found our third nanny who has been with us a little over a year.

E came to us as a friend of a friends. I liked her from the beginning becuase she is a lot like me - a LOT different than me - but a lot like me. Same morals and strong Christian background. Loves athletics and taking care of herself and most important loves children. She has a natural gift for children. E has been with us over a year and after just a few months, the bond she formed with my daughter was priceless. I would come home and tell my child it was time for E to go home. My daughter would cling on to E so tightly and start to cry. She wanted nothing to do with me. For some mothers this might be very upsetting. For me, however, it was awesome. I loved that my daughter could bond with somoene else rather than me. I loved that she could trust someone else. I loved that E was her perfect playmate. E had no other responsibilities other than my daughter from 9-5 which meant she gave all her focus to her. Something that I, even as her mother, could never provide her.

My daughter today is quite two years old and she loves people. She believes anyone who comes over to the house is a new playmate for her. She has a high vocabulary and can tell you all about her day. She can count, knows her colors and loves to read. She listens well, minds well, and is the biggest helper when asked to do something. All of these attributes make up her personality and it is how God has created her. But I also believe that having one on one attention all day from someone that had no other destractions has helped my child develop this way.

Now, why all of this has made me a better mother. Since I'm home while someone else is in my house, I have had to get my shit together. Knowing someone would be here at 8:30 Monday through Friday I knew I would have to be out of bed by 7:30, dressed, my child dressed, beds made and house "reletively" put together. All of these things I would have never done if I took my child to daycare or if I didn't work. It has made me accountable as a housewife. Also, as I've sat in my office and listened to things going on between nanny and daughter, I've noticed things that made me uncomfortable, but things that I easily as a "all-day" stay at home mom would probably do myself. For example, leave the TV on all day even if not watching it. I've had to ask E not to do this. And I've had to make an effort on days when I am home not to do this remember how much I didn't like it when somoene else did it. Watching my nanny say things like, "what do you want to do now? Play with playdough? Play with your babies? Play kitchen?" This started to bother me. So, I wrote out a schedule of activities where my daughter doesn't always have a choice, but instead has more structure: "now it is time to practice our ABC's with coloring or painting".

I have realized in watching others with my child how intentional I want to me as a parent. Every day is a new day. Every day counts. Every minute, every second is important. Yes, our children learn from us just by watching us, just by seeing what we do and how we react. But to be intentional with our children is priceless and this is why having a nanny in my home and viewing the lack of "intention" on some accounts has made me realize as a mother I need to be extremely proactive and extremely intentional.

Over the last 10 years I have worked on large furntirue and design projects for fortune 500 companies. I have gone through the logistics of moving thousands of employees from one location to another and having everything set up for them, staging projects, working with deadlines and juggling multiple tasks at one time. If I can put so much time and effort into these projects than I can put more time and effort into my children. I will be more passionate about my babies than I ever have been for work and this is something I will need to remember.

I am throwing in the business suites for a while and the glamorous lunches. The confidence, independence and structure that working has given me the last two years since my first daughter made me a mother are three characteristics I will continue to persue and provide for my children as a stay at home mom.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

labeling my children in utero: "Sweet" and "Feisty"

From 15 weeks on Baby A, our little boy, has had his head down in go position. His heart rate has always been in the 140's. He moves here and there, but honestly I can tell they are pleasant movements. He seems careful with his positioning, careful with my insides! He is somewhat bashful. When trying to determine his gender he covered himself with his hands. When trying to get a profile picture, he again covered his face with his hands. We did see him on the ultrasound kicking his sister in the head repeatedly, which for a moment, made me wonder if I had pinpointed his personality wrong...then...within moments of that same ultrasound we saw that Baby B, our little girl was kicking him in the head as well. I then concluded that it was just payback, as I have already labeled him "my sweet momma's boy".

I am wondering if my daughter in utero is even going to have a chance to be anything but what I already think she is, "feisty". She has been head up one week, head down the next. Then transverse, then butt down. She moves constantly. She jabs her little feet and arms into my ribs. She is slightly larger than her brother, but not by much. Her heart rate is never below 160. She has a full set of hair from what they tell me. She has the hiccups a few times a day that make my whole belly jump with each one. The only stretchmarks I have are on the right underside of my belly right where she is positioned. Don't get me wrong, I love feisty. I think feisty is great. Somehow I think feisty will be greater out of the womb and is maybe not so great for momma with feisty inside the womb. However, as feisty as she is, she will also be a sweet little one, just as her brother will be. She has played the last nine months, but now that "go-time" is nearing she has positioned herself headdown as well and will hopefully stay that way with her brother until they are just a few short weeks.

With my first baby I remember I couldn't even imagine what she would look like, nor did I have the slightest idea what she would be like. Would she cry all the time? Would she like to cuddle and be held? Would she be independent? I had no clue and I had no expectations for her. Of course, she is the most intelligent 22 month old ever (she turned 22 months today). She can count to 13, she can tell you about her day at school. She is extremely independent and knows exactly what she wants...and when...and how. But she is also obedient and respectful. She loves to cuddle and be held. She loves to say her prayers. And when I am done praying she keeps her hands folded and says, "more prayers mommy." She loves to give kisses and hugs. She loves new people and new places. She has very little fear - unless it is spiders and bugs which I recently discovered she has a major dislike of. But none of these things could I have ever imagined of her when I was carrying her inside me. I had no expectations of what she would be like.

This is why I find it odd that I have labeled my unborn twins with personalities already. Maybe it is because I already have a child. Maybe it is because there are two of them and they seem so drastically different inside. One laid back and one full of constant energy.

But no matter what their labels are, no matter what their actual personalities are, no matter what, they are my babies and I am so full of love for them. As their arrival date gets closer, I get more and more excited to meet them, to see their precious faces, to hold them when they cry. I am so proud of my older daughter and I know she is going to make the best big sister. I am so proud that she will have the opportunity to be a big sister and to love her siblings. God could not have given us a more wonderful first child. I cannot wait to see all three of them be together. Just be. I am so blessed with this wonderful family and I haven't even met the two youngest members yet.