Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm a Work In Progress

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. Wise words from M. Gandhi. Words I am trying to live by and trying to find focus with. I had a huge AH-HA moment as a parent, a mother, a wife and a person on October 13. I arrived home after being at work for way too long, it was after 5pm and my husband, G & R were all in their PJ's. If the dog had PJ's, I am sure he too, would have been wearing them. And did I hug people, say hello and snuggle my babies? No, I yelled at my husband that it was after 5pm, no one was dressed and what the hell was going on. Not me being my best self.

I didn't take into consideration that my husband had been battling a cold for two weeks, that it had rained all day and that it really didn't matter if everyone spent 22 hours in their PJ's. I stepped into the worst version of myself and performed horribly.

My husband was solid in his response, he was right after all and knew it. It took me 5 hours to apologize and a full 24 hours to process it.

A friend recently had a quote on her facebook page "I myself am made entirely of flaws stitched together with good intentions." It hit me in the face- this is me too! And for now, I'll keep moving along, remembering to look in the mirror now and again. I need to love what I see and PJ day was not it. Almost 35 years of me and I am still learning.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What's Been Going On

Life is full. I've decided to ban the words "busy" and "tired" from my vocabulary; they are always going to be present for many months and years ahead. Insread, I'm looking at life as being full. Some days overflowing.

What the girls are up to
- learning to walk...Georgia started on September 30 and Rori followed a few days later
- exploring and crawling into and under anything and everything...gross motor skills at their finest
- filling their mouths with combined count is now 22/40, we're over half way there
- not sleeping. We're on day 15 of interrupted, horrible night lack of sleeping.

Ahhh the lack of sleep. Part of my reason for being behind on the blog, behind on life. I've realized parenting is a lot of guessing, speculating and trial and error. We never really know what is keeping them up, we guess. Is it teething? Is it learning to walk? Do we let them cry it out, snuggle them in or begin sleep training all over? Any and all of the above do not seem to work.

As if on cue, they are erupting in their cribs. Three hours after they went down. Parenting calls, blog will wait. Snuggles are next on the agenda.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our New Normal ....I'm trying

Life looks and feels different these days. I'm back to work, six days in. I am no longer home with girls full time and have passed that torch to Daddy. It was unbelievably hard walking out the door the first day returning to work. Everything seemed to go wrong- I overslept and the babies woke up and wanted milk right after I had pumped. I arrived at work, later than planned, with butterflies that felt like the first day of school. After a few bouts of tears, a cup of tea from a thoughtful friend, warm hellos and great conversations, the butterflies went to sleep and things worked out good.

I'm trying to keep mindful and present in the day. It is easy to be present when I'm playing peek-a-boo or stacking cups. I'm learning to be present when sitting in 3 or 4 hour meetings. I have to work differently than I ever have. I have to leave at certain times or hubby doesn't get to work on time. I'm putting 8 hours a day in, just doing it differently. I have to pump at certain times in the day or I am uncomfortable and I seem to mess up my milk supply. We are continuing to breastfeed for a bit longer; there is no timeline on it at this point. That is a whole other conversation- the judgments that are in society for breastfeeding toddlers.

The babies are thriving with Daddy and he is doing an awesome job. Everyone is always happy when I return home. Yes, the house might not be as I would have had it and there may be dirty faces but there is happiness.

We are trying to fit in cleaning, groceries, meal preparation, family time, volunteering, exercise and the basics that are part of life. I'm trying not to judge myself and not judge my husband; trying to be less critical. I'm trying to breathe more and be less bitchy.

Weekends are not long enough. Time travels at warp speed and it seems Friday just arrives and it is Monday morning.

The girls are delightful these days; sleeping through the night and very entertaining. I had no idea how exciting a high five could be, how terrifying it is to walk behind a baby (or two babies!) climbing up the stairs and the wonderful hugs that I get, especially when returning home. There really are no words for how amazing and great they are.

Everyone tells me to be gentle with myself, be patient. I'm trying. Our new normal seems to have a lot of "trying" things out in it. We'll get there, each day at a time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

September Adventures

Change is abound; in the air, with the weather and with our lives. Mommy returns to work tomorrow....big sigh....I never imagined myself as a stay at home mom. I love my career and really didn't understand why people wanted to be home full time with a child (especially when there was only one, haha!) Oh how that has changed! What I wouldn't do for another 12 months with the girls. It's just not possible. And on the eve of my return to work, I keep wishing and hoping I will win the lottery or even have someone sponsor me- all I need is bills paid, and I could be home with my babies. But being a grownup doesn't seem to work that way.

It doesn't seem right going back, we are just getting going. We are just at the fun stage of teaching (our newest tricks are pointing one finger up when you ask the girls how old they are, saying & playing ball and we're working on the word yes). The babies give back so much. Another friend and a twin mom told me that is when the world changed, when the rewards started coming back. It started with that first smile and now they are so close to standing on their own, to walking, to new teeth...and I won't be here for it. Sure, I will get to see it on evenings and weekends. Not the same. I know a zillion and ones moms and dads before me have done this, returned to work, and a zillion more will be doing it. I just didn't imagine that it would hurt this much. I've cried on and off for two days. I've had a headache that doesn't seem to end.

The good news is that they will be with Daddy or Mommy most of the time. They will be in their own house. We don't have to add packing up two babies, getting food ready, and adding all that comes with leaving the house every day. My hope is that Mommy and Daddy are not going to be exhausted from working two full time jobs, keeping up with two growing toddlers, an energetic dog and keeping the house moderately clean. I'm not going to worry about how I can continue to breastfeed and pump. I'm just going to do it and see what happens.

I'm trying to be present. I can be a bitch, a crab and I usually end up taking it out on those I love most. As my husband and my brother can confirm. I'm thinking about learning to mediate (maybe), reading a lot and relating to mindful parenting. To me, it means to learn about staying in the moment, staying present and appreciation. I am still working on patience and balance; there will be lots to test these skills in the weeks ahead.

This quote from Gina at The Twin Coach resonated deeply with me.
"I'm simply working at being able to notice all these little pieces of the day, so I don't let one moment in time, that isn't going as I wish, destroy the million little, beautiful moments that surround it."

On that note, I am off to finish a few things, pump some milk for my girls and head to bed. Probably with a few tears on my pillow tonight.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodbye August

Goodbye August. You've been a good month. You've had a few moments where the days seemed longer than usual but I will miss you. You are a month of celebrating; of celebrating anniversaries (happy 5 years hubby), of reflecting and celebrating G & R (happy 1st birthday my girls) and of home ownership. You have been a busy month for us- with babies on the move more and more, new teeth, new words, new developments and new experiences. You've been a month where we have battled thrush and viral infections. Where the babies have tried new foods, enjoyed swims in oceans and lakes and lots of summer walks.

In August, even the beer tastes better, especially on a hot summer day.

It was also a month of loss- Goodbye Jack Layton. I'm still processing, still in disbelief and still not sure how to describe the impact of a man I have never met. I've watched the funeral twice, cried many tears and will have to leave it at that for now.

It's a month of preparing to return to work, to a new routine and to getting through the days in a different way.

Brigadoon Children's Camp Society opened this month too; a dream of Dave McKeage that has come to reality. I have goosebumps when I think of it and can't believe that I walked the grounds, into the cabins, onto the lake where Brigadoon has been built. Amazing. Inspiration to believe in your dreams and the power of accomplishment when you follow through.

Goodbye August. I will miss you and look forward to your return next year.

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday G & R

Today our girls celebrated turning one. Well, we celebrated, and to them it was just another day. A day where Mommy and Daddy were a bit more silly, Mommy cried and looked a lot of photos, there were a lot of songs and teaching of the number "1". I can remember the day of their birth like it was yesterday, yet I can not believe how fast this year has gone by.

It was a year of ups and downs, of moments where I didn't think I would ever learn to feed my children through breastfeeding, have them go to sleep on their own or sleep through the night ourselves. Now breastfeeding is done with ease (and we are going to continue until the girls or mommy is ready to wean), sleep is a regular, predictable part of our lives and we happily sleep through the night.

The year has taught me a lot about myself; as a mother and a woman. It has taught me a lot about my relationship with my husband. I have realized who my true friends are and who I am fortunate to have in my life. This one was one of the harder lessons; people I would have called friends before the girls arrived are now acquaintances in my life. Which I am ok with, it just took a bit of learning on my part. I've learned to change my expectations of myself and of the world around me.

The biggest ah ha I have had has been how much I love my two little humans. I knew I would love them and I already felt I knew them before they were in my arms. I was not prepared for the immense, numbing at times, love. I still am in disbelief at times that I am a mother, and a mother to two beautiful girls. I feel complete, have a new perspective and a new outlook.

My hope for the girls is that they can continue to grow and make the world a better place that it was simply by being in it and living life to the best of their abilities.

One of our favorite books to read, is On the Day You Were Born, written and illustrated by Debra Frasier. The lyric text welcomes each child to the every day miracles of planet Earth – the sun, moon, North Star, wind, rain, tides and the circle of people awaiting each child. The line that brings tears to my eyes with each read sums up the feelings of every day, but especially as we celebrate their first birthday.

.....And as they held you close they whispered in your open, curving ear," We are so glad you've come!"

Thank you my sweet girls....looking forward to many more celebrations in the years ahead.

Friday, August 12, 2011

3 Weeks, 4 Days and Counting.....

My life these days is about lists and a countdown. A countdown to returning to work full time outside the home. A countdown that makes tears come to my eyes, is filled with guilt and evokes a huge sigh from me. A countdown that I never thought I would dread. I never have seen myself as a stay at home mom. I LOVE work, I LOVE my job, my co-workers and at times over the years, I have likely loved it a bit too much. I don't think I realized how much I would LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom. Work feels like an interruption in our plan but I have to return to work; our lives and our bank account will not survive too long without it. As the days wind down, I find myself selfishly wanting to freeze time, to spend every minute with G & R and to not have the nights turn into a new day where I am closer to leaving them.

And at the same time, I am in need of a break, a change. Not that work will be a break but it will be a different activity where I use different parts of me.

I broke this week. It was the cumulation of everything, of working on the girls baby books and realizing all we went through, reliving some of it all and having sadness that I won't be in the baby stage again. It's mixed emotions of leaving them during the day, for 5 whole days every week and of trying to figure out how am I going to continue to breastfeed, work, pump, make sure everyone has food and clean clothes and all the other tasks that life has for us. I'm slowly realizing that there are some things that are going to have to go on the backburner- my trips to the gym, computer time, and maybe even the odd shower or two :) And what if someone gets sick.....that doesn't fit in my schedule so I don't know how we will cope with that!

It's the realization that we live far from family and far from helping hands. Any hands I get to help, I'll have to find them, interview them, trust them and then leave them alone with my babies. I am sure the first time or two I will worry nonstop that they will take my beautiful girls. Rational me tells me to relax and that everyone does this and it will be fine. The mommy in me has her heart breaking with the thought of this.

So we have a plan. I am going to work full time, my husband is going to work full time. I'll do days at work, he'll do evenings and weekends. That equation leads to pretty near no family time, zero sleep in time and gratitude that the grocery stores are open 24 hours a day so we can shop when life permits. I am happy that the girls are going to be with one of their parents for 99% of the time. And the days when we can't be with them, we are just going to have to learn a new way of doing things. I just wish it didn't hurt my heart so much to think of it!

As for me and the break, not sure how I am going to build that in but we are committed to finding a way. I love love my girlies and I need a small break to be the best mommy I can be. Just a few hours without thinking of who needs to be fed when, of breastfeeding and changing two 11.5 month olds. It has become an olympic workout to breastfeed the two of them at once or attempt to change diapers. There seems to be no element of distraction powerful enough to engage them.

But tonight, we sleep and tomorrow we tackle the list again! Hopefully with crossing off a few accomplishments each day, the anxiety will get less and everything will fall into place.