Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Visit from Nana & Grampa

My parents came to visit this weekend and the boys just loved hanging out with their Nana and Grampa Mac. It was so great to see them together. They both thought my Dad was hysterical, and he loved having a new audience (we thought he was funny when we were kids too - he's still using the same material). Robie especially cracked up at pretty much everything Grampa did, while Teddy was happy to have Nana-nana-nana in the house instead of on the phone or the computer.

The boys did their best to show off all their new talents. Teddy was walking everywhere with his arms up by his head for "balance" - he's like a little godzilla coming at you, usually with tongue sticking out and cackling like he just destroyed the Empire State Building. Robie is taking a few steps at a time, stringing together 5-6 quick steps every now when he thinks noone is watching. He's more focused on trying to talk, and loved to mimic the funny sounds Grampa would make. I may be crazy, but I think he said "Thank you" the other day when I was done changing him, and last night I handed him his toothbrush and said "It's time to brush your teeth". I swear to God he said "Brush my teeth" right back to me. Chris was sitting right there and we both heard it, so it wasn't just me.

They seem to picking up so many new things very quickly all of the sudden - it's so much fun to see. Teddy started stacking blocks this past week, where before his only interest was in banging them on the window or knocking them down. Last night he was adding to a stack that Chris had started and he had 2 different kinds of blocks. He started to put one that didn't match on top, then he paused, looked again and swapped it out for the matching block, putting the odd one on the top of the stack instead. I was amazed! They both ride their little truck/scooters by themselves now (yay - no more breaking my back pushing them up and down the hall!) and can climb on and off the rocking horse now that we removed the safety seat. They're both really trying hard to climb onto the couch by themselves, which has us terrified. We're trying to work on making sure they know how to get down feet first, but they love to try and dive head first onto the floor. I'm thinking we're going to have to stack pillows all around the couches for a while.

Anyway, my parents visit was too short as always, and it was even harder to watch them go this time. For the past 4 years having my brother and his family nearby made a huge difference and made me feel less alone out here in CA. But now they're moving back to MA in a month and it'll just be me out here again. I love Santa Barbara and we're close to Chris' family which is nice, but its just not the same as having my family nearby. Especially now that we have the boys - it's so hard knowing that they won't really be close with all their aunts and uncles and cousins on my side. There's not really anything I can do to change that, and I know with my Mom retiring this year she'll try to visit as often as she can - it's just hard. My family is very close and loving and loud and crazy and I want my boys to know and be a part of that as much as they can. For now we'll look forward to August and 2 weeks in Marblehead and hopefully that'll be something we can do every year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Day at the Beach

With the recent (and very scary) Jesusitas Fire keeping the babies indoors most of last week, with the break in the weather on Saturday we were determined to get them some time outside in fresh, non-smoke and ash filled air. We decided to take them to the beach at Refugio, about 20 min. north of the city. It was foggy and cool in SB, so we figured on a quick walk, a little lunch and back home in time for their nap and the delivery of our new bedroom furniture (yay!). That plan went out the window when we got to Refugio and found it was sunny and warm and just a beautiful, perfect day for the beach. Teddy and Robie were in heaven!

Of course we hadn't brought anything we'd need for a real "day at the beach" - not the new sun tent still at home in the box - waiting for summer to start, not the babies swim diapers or new sun suits (also still at home in the box), not even a pair of shorts for Mommy. But beach day it was and we had a blast!!

We spread out some towels we keep in the car and fed the boys lunch. Chris was completely disgusted that the boys got sand all over everything and continued eating anyway. He couldn't understand why I wasn't bothered by it and just let them keep eating sand covered food. It's going to be a long summer if he wants to wipe their hands between every bite! By the time they finished eating and were ready to go exploring we realized we'd have to leave right away to get home in time for the furniture delivery. I couldn't bear to throw the poor dudes back in the car after such a short time, so I asked Chris to call his Mom and see if she could let them in for us. He had to roam all over the parking lot to find some cell reception, but he finally got through and his Mom agreed to run over and let in the furniture guys. Yay for Jean!!

With some more time to play with we headed down to the water, figuring we'd just let the boys get their toes wet since the water was freezing (and we had no bathing suits, etc.). 20 minutes later we were all soaked and Teddy was ready to be the next Michael Phelps. The kid has absolutely no fear!! He was ready to run headlong into the ocean, not caring how cold, how deep or how big the waves were. Robie was the complete opposite. I held him to dip his toes in and he immediately shrieked and lifted his little chubby legs up away from the cold water. He loved the rush of the waves and had no problem with Mommy getting wet while holding him, but jump in the cold water with Teddy - uh uh. He'd rather sit and play with the seaweed (the boy loves any kind of greenery/plant life I swear). He will be our marine biologist pulling golf balls out of whale spouts - most likely hit there by Teddy.

The beach had showers nearby, so we stripped the boys down, rinsed them off and put them in some dry clothes. Future note to self - always keep a change of clothes for Mommy in the car, not just extras for the boys. Of course after all that Chris says "We should have just let them go in naked. " Crap - why didn't I think of that!!

Anyway, not really a big dramatic story here, just a really great family trip to the beach and the babies first time in the ocean :-) Now I'm really looking forward to summer and long days at the beach - with the sun tent, bathing suits, cooler full of non-sandy food and happy water babies!!

Oh - and when we got home the new bedroom furniture was all set up in our room and Chris could finally get his clothes off the floor. Truly a magical day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Working Mom Blues

Okay - so it will surprise no one who knows me well, but clearly I am a slacker when it comes to updating this blog. I have so much to say and so many memories I want to capture before they're gone, I really need to make the time to think back and chronicle all the little moments from their first year.

The hard part is, I feel like I'm missing so much of their babyhood and lately it's really getting to me. I know how lucky I am to have a job right now, especially when my company just laid off so many people, many of whom have been here a lot longer than me. I like my job, my company, I have great hours and a wonderful nanny whom the boys love and who has been with us since they were 5 months old. So what do I have to bitch about?

First, let me confess that going back to work when they were younger probably saved my sanity. I know that sounds awful, and the months that I was home on maternity leave were great, but it was so much harder than I ever imagined. Taking care of two newborns full time, nursing, pumping, never sleeping - I felt like I was just trying to survive day to day and wasn't "enjoying" my babies like I should. And I had lots of help! Going back to work was hard, but I also stopped pumping at the same time, the boys started sleeping better (sort of) and it really felt like my body and my life were getting back to something resembling normal for the first time in over 2 years (counting TTC, IF, my m/c, IVF, and the demands of a twin pregnancy).

Yet as the months have passed, I've found it harder to go to work every day rather than easier. Yes, we have a good routine and the boys are thriving with the nanny who probably has a lot more energy than I would every day. As they're growing and becoming such amazingly special little boys - I find that I really hate not being there for them all day. I resent that the nanny knows some of their habits and new stages better than I do. This morning I had to drive away while they were watching with their little faces pressed against the front window watching me leave. And while I know they'll never remember and 5 seconds after I'm gone they're on to the next toy and totally fine - I can't help feeling like they must wonder why Mommy is always leaving them. When I'm home they cling to me and scream if I so much as walk into the next room. They hear the a door open and they run/crawl down the hall saying "Mom-mom-mom-mom-mom" as they rush to find me.

It feels like they need me so much at this stage and honestly, I need them. I want to be the one teaching them new things, helping them discover new skills and explore their world. I want to be the one taking them to the park or the library or the zoo every day - not just on weekends when it's so crowded and we're trying to cram in "quality family time" like everyone else. I feel like I never have enough time to give them and I don't like living with that constant guilt. I let other things go because I have a hard time justifying doing anything other than spending time with them when I'm not at work. I know I need to work out and lose some of this baby weight for my own health - but would I rather spend 30 minutes on the treadmill or read stories with the boys? No contest. I know I should write more, make photo albums for the boys, organize the house and hang some family pictures - heck one of these days I should actually finalize our wedding photo album!

Of course, nothing says I'd love being a stay at home Mom and I know that. It's got to be one of the toughest jobs there is and I'm sure I'd be home for a month and thinking - I really want to go to a lunch meeting or take a conference call! I just feel like I want to take care of my home and my kids while they're young enough for it to make a difference - and while they still want to spend time with me, LOL. I know how fast they'll grow up and want me to drop them off a block from the mall. I waited so long for these babies and went through so much - and now I'm missing the best part of watching them grow.

Chris takes the bar in a few months and once he passes (hopefully the 1st time!) and starts practising, I really think I will look at staying home if we can make it work with the health insurance coverage, etc. It would be great if I could work 2 -3 days a week - maybe some at home, and who knows - maybe that will be a possibility with the new company merger. But I know I don't want to work every day much longer. The balance needs to tip towards more time with my boys.