Sunday, November 4, 2012

Photo Card

Classic Candy Cane Christmas
Shutterfly has classic, elegant Christmas invitations for your party.
View the entire collection of cards.

Photo Card

Classic Candy Cane Christmas
Make unique Christmas cards this year at
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My last week!

So, I was supposed to last six weeks at work, but after three weeks, I am done. The people I work with are wonderful, but the environment is not conducive to this pregnancy. I am stressed most days and by the time I am home with my Addie, I am in so much pain that I can't do more than sit on the couch. I want to hold these babies on as long as I can, and I still want to enjoy my time with Addie as my only child. I need to be home- good thing my doctor agrees!

And this week is a three day week! I am so happy to have Monday and Tuesday off. I love knowing I will be home to play with my baby, do laundry, vacuum, clean, and just breathe. Then I have to return to work, but I have hope the three days will be swift. I really hope so.

Now that I am stressing less, I am finally starting to really enjoy having the twins in my belly. I feel so blessed to be able to have our family and to give Addie siblings. I am especially blessed to have my husband. I know there are many women who are like me- they dream to be a mom one day. It is something I have wanted to be since I realized I had a baby sister. I loved being a big sister and loving her (or smothering her :)). But the one aspect of my dream that I failed to consider is the person I would be parenting with. The dad to my mom. After having our daughter, I cannot imagine having these experiences with anyone else than my husband. He is the perfect balance to my temper, lack of patience, passion, and goofiness. He is an amazing father and loves our baby with every fiber of his being- I could not ask for more. The experience of motherhood would not be as amazing (for me) had I not had him as my partner.

As I lay in bed tonight, I just thank God for all he has given me. I pray that my family only grows more beautifully with each day and again give him thanks and praise for what we have right now.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I am miserable

Just an angry and unhappy vent....

I hate leaving my daughter everyday to go to a place that makes me physically ill.

I hate not being home to watch her, play with her, and feed her.

I hate being second guessed in all aspects of my life right now.

I hate hypocrites. I am surrounded by them.

Most of all, I hate that this job ruins my day and my mood. It leaves me with no patience because of the amount of pain I am in by the end of the day. As a result, I am too sore and too tired and too annoyed to do anything the rest of the night. And I am so sick of people who have never carried twins or ever had to go to work and leave their child acting like I am dramatic.

I could go on, but I know that this blog will just cause more issues for me because some people never bother too look at what they say or do and how that negatively impacts those around them.

Basically, I am so sick of all of this right now. I am at the end of my rope.

Friday, August 31, 2012

One day down, and I can't do it again.

Well, yesterday was my first day back to work.  Addie made it through the day with Daddy, and she had a great day.  I was a little sad to hear this because misery always loves company....

My day began at 3:30 in the morning.  Adelaide woke up crying, and I couldn't (notice - not Addie, but  me), I couldn't get back to sleep.  I laid awake in bed, very uncomfortable, and periodically crying until 5:45 am.   I decided to just get up and shower.  I just wanted the day to be over with.

I know some of you are thinking, "She is this torn about leaving her daughter?"  And the answer is a resounding YES, but what made this day especially difficult was returning to a job that I now completely hate.  I had no desire to sit through a day of presentations and meetings, was not looking forward to an unbearably hot working environment, and for the first time in my life, dreaded going to my job.

I was ready well before 7am, and I had to keep myself busy.  Around 7, Addie woke up, I dressed her, and off I went.  As my husband walked me to the car, I completely broke down.  I sobbed like I watched someone shoot a dog in a movie (ever watch Old Yeller?).  I have never felt that awful in my life.

When I arrived at work, I proceeded to breakdown at least three more times- each time in private - but at least three more times.  While listening to presentations, I found myself completely understanding those "cynical" people I work with who like to preach about the "Us V. Them" mentality.  They spew how "They" are just full of hot air, don't care about "Us," and will be deceptive at every moment.  Not only did I hate myself for agreeing with them, I hated knowing they were right all along.

To make matters worse, as the day progressed I became increasingly more uncomfortable and to the point of being in pain.   My baby boy twin eventually lodged himself into my hip and must have been pressing on a nerve.  By the time I left, I was in tears because I could barely walk.

When I imagined my arrival home, my daughter would be waiting by the door smiling and reaching for me.  We would hug or "squeeze" as we call it, and I would feel a little better knowing I was home.  But that did not happen.  When I arrived home, my daughter was napping, and I couldn't move without cringing. I spent the greater part of the afternoon vacillating between tears and agony.  When she awoke, she wanted little to nothing to do with me, and by the time we went to bed I was in so much pain, I couldn't move.

Last night I cried myself to sleep.

Monday, August 27, 2012

And the countdown begins...

In just three days, I will be returning to work after my year maternity leave.  I am having a difficult time with this to say the least.   Every night I look at my beautiful daughter and can't help but become upset. I know I only have to return for six weeks, but as I have stated in my previous entries, this whole transition and period in time would have been and could be so much easier if I wasn't returning to a terrible situation at work. 

As I play with my daughter in these last few days, I am just trying to enjoy every little smile, smirk, yell, and hug so I will have a bank of happy moments to go to when I am sitting at my desk and want to cry.   

This leads me to to my story for the day, which in case you are wondering, did make me cry.

I spoke to my mother this morning and was asking her about my niece and nephew.  My nephew started first grade a couple of weeks ago, and then was out sick a couple of days last week with an ear infection.  Knowing how challenging this can be for any student (or teacher), I asked how he was doing in terms of his health but also in terms of his mental state.  You see, when he started kindergarten, he had a little trouble transitioning.  I think most children do on some level, but this was a little surprising to hear (but I am his aunt, godmother, and live 3000 miles away- so don't be surprised I don't know the day-to-day happenings with my nieces and nephews).  But I was surprised because he loves to have sleepovers with Nona and Papa, loved to go to daycare a.k.a "school," and overall was great with my husband and I when we visited (considering he doesn't really know us like he knows my sister and her husband).  But after a few weeks, he was okay and made it through kindergarten with flying colors.  

So when I asked my mom about how first grade was going, I didn't know what to expect.  Unfortunately, he is having a bit of a tough transition again.  My mom explained he had a wonderful summer: played with his sister, spent a great deal of time with his mom (my sister-in-law) who was off because she is a teacher, and just enjoyed life.  So my sister-in-law had that conversation most parents have with their children who have to go to school; she explained to him that he will love school, explained all the fun things to do and learn, and explained how he will see friends and make new ones. But my nephew is smart.  He asked his mom to stay home- not realizing that she would still have to work (or maybe he did, but he probably thought he could convince her to let him stay home too), and when she said she couldn't, he asked her the most heartbreaking question: Can I cry at school when I miss you?

I wanted to cry when my mom told me the story.  But what made me breakdown was my sister-in-law's sage response.  She told him no, he couldn't cry (kids can be cruel), but every time he missed her that he should put his hand on his heart.  At the same time, she would put her hand on her heart, and they would have a special connection.  

I hate thinking about my nephew missing his mommy so much.  I hate thinking about him holding back tears because he can't cry at school.  I hate that my nephew has to feel one iota of sadness.  And I hate that I understand exactly how he feels.  I will be walking around with my hand permanently attached to my heart over the next few weeks.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Today was a lousy day....

So I went into work to set things up in my new position. This was my first day since my involuntary transfer. It was awful.

I remember when I was a kid I would often have to walk home from my friends' houses. Most days and some nights, I would go and not think twice about it. My neighborhood felt safe, and I knew almost everyone in my neighborhood. But there were some nights that I would run home. I just felt innately afraid of walking alone. During those walks the neighborhood not only felt foreign but foreboding. I was uncomfortable and unhappy with my pedestrian situation on those nights. I longed for and needed to be home.

That is how I felt today. I had a knot in my stomach on the drive over to the building. I hate the building. It is hot, out of date, and not comfortable. My room was dirty, foreign, and uncomfortable. My daughter cried most of the time we were there- another sign that this is just not the right place for me.

I have been complaining about this transfer from day one because I don't understand why it happened. The only explanation I was given is that I was on leave, so they don't need to give me an explanation. That treatment compounded by the awful treatment I have received since my unwarranted transfer makes me loathe my once beloved job.

So just standing in the building made me upset. To make matters worse, my room was about 93 degrees. I could barely stand it. After only an hour, I had to leave because both my daughter and I were drenched in sweat and her face was flushed.

Nothing about this environment feels good anymore. I am sure the staff is nice, so I don't want to imply that they will be an issue, but nothing else feels like this pairing will be a success. And after the terrible and unprecedented treatment I have received coming back from leave, I have no desire to be a part of this organization any longer.

This is such a different feeling than when I left for my maternity leave. When I left, the last imprint on my mind was a conversation I had with my former HR head. He told me how he always treated the staff with dignity and respect. He tried to be equitable and fair. He tried to be flexible when he could be and informative at all times. This wasn't just out of the kindness of his heart - it was a smart leadership move. He realized that employees who felt heard, respected, and valued will always give their employers 200 percent- no matter how difficult the task. He also realized that employees are people too and have many other responsibilities outside the scope and sequence of their positions. When there is disorder and dysfunction in an employee's personal life, then it is imperative that there is stability in his or her professional life because in the end, the professional will always suffer. He was a smart and savvy leader. He knew that by simply collaborating with and listening to employees as opposed to breaking them down, he would have happy and productive employees. If he worked to "break them," - he would. And the result would be employees who were no longer vested in the organization and contributed the minimum.

Someone forgot to tell the new leadership the secret to success.

I am mad at myself because of this morning. This two hour stint in my temporary cell ruined my spirit and my mood. It just broke me today.

My daughter cried the entire way home and after an hour of listening to her, I cried (sobbed) too. I cried for so many reasons: I felt like I failed her, I hate how I felt at work, I hate that I have to leave her to be at a place I hate, I hate that hate and anger have become the new norms in my vernacular.

I cannot wait for the day when I don't have to do this anymore. Because right now I don't think I can do it. With everything else going on, I am too tired of trying to keep it together when all I want to do is fall apart.

I pray tonight that God give me patience and strength to deal with this situation - even if it is for six weeks- because I am tired of people saying it is only six weeks. If that is the case, switch places with me. But no one would because they would despise it too.

I pray tonight that God take away and help me deal with my anger about all of this. It is not healthy for me, my daughter, my husband, or the twins. I need strength to remember that people are selfish and self-centered. I need to keep those people in my peripheral and not my forefront. I need to remember that I may lay awake at night and think about them, but they do not think of me and my family.

I pray that God help me let go of those who do not want happiness for me and my family. Let go of those who seek to harm us or are indifferent to our moments of joy and our moments of sorrow.

And finally, I pray that God help me be a good mother and wife. Nothing else matters. My family is what brings me happiness. I cannot let the outside world effect how I show my love to them each day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Well, it has been AWHILE.....

My last blog post was in February, and for many reasons, I have not blogged since then.

In March, I began IVF treatments again and surprise! It worked on the first round this time. Our family is now adding two- yes two more to the flock!

This pregnancy has been so different than my first- but just in speed. Everything seems to be going faster and happening sooner than with Addie. I am experiencing much more pressure, back, hip, and crotch discomfort. I am also finding that standing for long periods of time is difficult even now. But ironically, even though I am carrying twins, I have gained about ten pounds less than I did with Addie at this point. I still look bigger- go figure- and the babies are healthy!

I go every three weeks for an ultrasound and check up. This will become more frequent soon. And I have high hopes that we will know both sexes in about a week!

Other personal and family matters have kept from blogging and writing, but I am hoping we are turning over a new shamrock and am ready for some great luck! I have to return to my teaching position in a couple of weeks. I am very unhappy about this for so many reasons. I never thought I would ever dread returning to work because I have always wanted to teach. But after spending a year home with Adelaide and experiencing some awful changes at work, I realized that I still may love to teach, but I do not love what is going on with my job. Without venting too much, I have had the worst experience with my job while on leave. After working in my district for ten years, I know I am not valued or respected. I know many people who read this may think: that is business lady. But education is not a business. That is the characteristic that drew me and passionate people like me into the field.

Education is about people, reflecting, collegiality, adapting, and caring. These qualities make the job demanding, ceaseless, tiring, and oh so rewarding. But unfortunately, that is not how I can describe my job any more. I am saddened, angry, and hurt. Luckily, I will only be back for six weeks at the most. The twins and my sanity and happiness come first.

Enough about that topic. Back to the first time mom talk!

I cannot believe that I will be able to be mom again. Addie will be a BIG sister. And I will have three babies under TWO.

Sometimes, I wonder how will I do it? Especially at three in the morning when Addie wakes up (that is my next blog).. I have hope I won't make the rookie mistakes with twins, but I know I will make a whole slew of mistakes as a mom of multiples. The only thing we all can wish is to have happy, healthy children who know they are loved.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thank goodness for things like "The Babies R Us Big Trade-In"

Once upon a time, there was a couple expecting their first child. Once they found out they were having a daughter, they did what most parents did- celebrated, rejoiced, and registered.

Then our beautiful baby came. We had a ton of stuff for her based on what we needed and was recommended to buy or sadly because they looked cute. Now six months into our adventures with Addie, I realized there are a couple of things I should have known BEFORE registering for the floral bouncer seat because it was so darn cute.

1. Bouncer seats: We use ours everyday. If we didn't, I would never shower. So, what I should have checked was the weight limit. Most are made for infants and can be used up to 25 pounds. There are some that are newborn to toddler. So much better! They convert into seats that are accommodating for your big girl up to 40 pounds. I am trading in my bouncer this week!

2. Stroller and infant seat: I am a huge fan of the infant seat. When they are tiny and sleeping, it is fantastic to simply "snap and go." However, I made the huge mistake of buying a travel system based on parental pressure and price. I bought (was given) a jogging stroller travel system. Honestly it seemed like a great investment- especially at the soccer games, but once we moved Addie to a regular carseat, the jogger was too big to bring to the mall and she hates the umbrella stroller. Now after research and having a baby, I realized that I need more of a grow with Addie stroller. I found the Britax B-Ready or those similar (City makes one and so does Bugaboo) are great options. The Britax has the option for Addie to face me and be up higher than the umbrella. Plus, it can hold a toddler up to 40 pounds plus converts to a dual stroller. It is perfect for people looking to expand their families (some of us sooner than later!). Had I known this, I would have purchased the Britax infant seat from the start. Now I am trading in!

3. The high chair- a necessity. We weren't sure what we wanted, so we registered for a compact and cute version that attaches to a chair. It was great while she was an infant. It reclined fully, and she could sit at the table. I even was a proponent of the portability. But once we hit six months, it is cumbersome at the table, she doesn't enjoy sitting in it for long periods of time, and we now use the boosters at restaurants. So, we are now shopping for a stand alone version that we can wipe down completely (no fabric thank you), can roll from room to room (carrying the chair was ridiculous), and is infant to toddler (the other seat was too). Another trade in!!

I don't have all the answers yet, but I working on purchasing more carefully from this point forward.

Things to consider:
Cuteability (it does matter!)

Ask friends what they used, read online reviews, and don't be pressured to buy because of price. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Here are some items I would buy again and again:
1. A playmat
2. An exersaucer
3. A pack and play
4. Anything musical
5. Books
6. An Ergo baby carrier
7. A Deckor diaperpail
8. An infant seat and some sort or snap and go stroller.

The jury is still out on...

To swing or not to swing. Some babies love them, but Addie hated hers. Next time, I would wait and see.

The baby bath tub aka "the spa." I used the infant insert for about a month before she was too big. Then the tub needed to be stored. It was all a hassle. Next time I would just use her bath chair (16 dollars at BRU) from the beginning. BUT I only had one bathroom, so if you had two, you may keep the bathtub longer.

Baby bedding! Sheets are a necessity, but the APA once again has bashed bumpers because if SIDS and asphyxiation risks. I loved her bedding, but I never used the bumpers or the pillow. I only used the sheet. And by the time she is ready for bedding, I will purchase a toddler or twin set.

In the grand scheme of things, I am ├╝ber grateful for the events like the Big Trade In. It saves me some cash that I would otherwise be throwing away or trying to sell at a garage sale. This way I trade in, receive 25% off, and trade up!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things I wish someone would have told me before I was pregnant.

There are many realities to having a baby. Many of these realities you will never foresee, but you depend on experienced "been there done there" moms to parlay to you. However, I truly believe that one of two things happen: 1. BTDT moms have babymesia. The joy of loving their babies so much causes them to forget all of the scary, annoying, or terrible realities of pregnancy and child rearing. This wears off in about ten years or so for most women. This is why the teenage years are so hellish and sp well remembered. Or 2) They lie. They lie because no one warned them and now it is payback.

While I was pregnant no one told me:
1. You will gain weight. You will gain weight from the beginning to end of pregnancy. The only women who don't gain the appropriate amount of weight (30-40 pounds) are usually overweight to begin with or may have other issues. I am not joking or mean to sound like a bitter Betty. This is the first thing the doctor tells you, so tell your friend who swears she only gained 12 or 20 pounds can go fly a kite.
2. Initially when you buy maternity clothes, you make purchases based on your normal size. So if you wear a small, you buy a small. But once you hit month eight or nine, you go to stage two maternity clothes. Your belly is so big it causes the floods to come for all of your pants, and remember how cute crop tops once seemed? Well it isn't so cute when you are hugely preggo. And shirts hovering are not cute or comfy either. So be prepared for Stage 2 and embrace it.
3. You will swell. You may not swell in your legs and feet like I did, but it will happen. So when you want to cry because you look swollen, don't worry, you are! And the beauty of swelling is that water weight is lost almost instantly when you give birth!
4. After having my daughter I heard all the BTDT mom's tell me how this was my first, and I would drop the weight like that! (insert finger snap). Well, trust me, you may lose the weight, but your skin may fight you for awhile. For me, I am six months into mommyhood, and I am still not "me" again. I would like tighter abs and to lose a few more pounds, but I take one look at Addie and smile. I know that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, but nothing feels as good as my daughter's smile looks, or her skin smells, or her voice sounds.
5. Last but not least: you are the mom. No matter how helpful you may want your husband to be or how helpful he may try to be, you will always be a mom. Goodbye sick days (and sleep inducing medications for that matter), goodbye privacy, goodbye humility, and goodbye personal routines. Your baby is number one and that will be all that matters. Even though I may not feel it when she is thirteen and rolls her eyes at me, I know I am her number one too. I am the mommy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sometimes being a mommy is hard...

I often read posts of a Babycenter Birth board I belong to (wow- say that three times fast!) just for fun. Most of the posts are basic questions, some are debates (breast or bottle, CIO or not, etc), and a few are just random funny posts to pass the time. The other day a regular poster wrote simply: being a mom is hard sometimes.
I guess she was having a rough day or maybe a sleepless night, or maybe her bundle of joy was teething, or perhaps her baby had her six month boosters (Adelaide did not react well to hers). Whatever the reason, her statement received an abundant amount of responses with the similar sentiment: it sure is!
The truth is that being a mom is the hardest job I have ever had. There are some days where I feel like I am failing especially when Addie is having a tough day or I am overly concerned that I am doing something to permanently scar her or worse: My fear I have done something that will cause her not to love me anymore. I know most moms who read this understand and empathize. Being a mom is hard.
But, and the HUGE but, is that being a mom is also rewarding. More rewarding than any career I have had or job I have worked on. Though I may be giving up a paycheck and "grown up time" that so many people tell me I will miss or need (and they may be right- but so far I am not missing much!), helping Adelaide grow and become a wonderful person is so much better than anything I will ever do.
I remind myself of that sentiment when none of my sweaters are spit up free or I haven't had a solid night's sleep in about a week. Sometimes I have to breathe and count to ten because she is crying hysterically in the car or screams when I leave her sight. It is unfortunate that she can't understand that her cousin likes to come home from school or mommy has to change her shirt because it has pee on it, but I can't fault her for loving me. I love her more than anything on this earth. So instead of beating myself up at night, when I lay down, I just tell myself that being a mom is hard, but well worth it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Out to Lunch

So this weekend, my husband and I met up with another couple for lunch. We were very excited because it was the first time we were meeting our friend's girlfriend. After having Addie, we have fell out of the social scene. So though the couple has been dating for six months, this is the first time meeting his girlfriend. It was a nice outing: she was wonderful, the food was good, and for early January, the weather was May-like. But I noticed something- a very subtle weird feeling at the table. The conversation didn't lag, but there were a couple of times when breast milk and poopy diapers were the topic of conversation. I think I realized what the oddity was when my husband checked out another (yes another) stroller on the sidewalk. Our friends laughed because we had become "those people" that our friend used to complain about. "Park Slope Parents" he called them. They were the people walking around Park Slope Brooklyn like they owned the place. But the truth is, they are like many new parents, myself included, that are completely and so totally enamored and in love with their child that they don't always know or care about the rest of the world. Seriously.
My husband and I didn't utter a sentence that day that did not gravitate around Adelaide. The other couple is not married and didn't have children. I felt a little bad, but she is our world. And I am not just referring to the joy that she brings, but the simple fact that I am her mommy. She needs us. When you are finally granted that responsibility, you can't help but be consumed by it. And it brings amazing joy, fear, and anxiety. Trust me, there are some nights that I am crying alongside of Adelaide. Just two weeks ago he received shots, had a cold, and was teething. Sleeping was a thing of the past. So was taking anything medicinal successfully or letting me use the booger sucker to help her feel better. Parenting isn't easy, buy it is better than anything I have ever done before.
So while I thought about the lunch and how happy I was that our friend had found a great girl, I stopped feeling so guilty about all the baby talk. Addie is our passion, just like art or wine is someone else's. In the future, I will give people fair warning: of you don't want to hear about all things baby and all things Addie, then see ya! Ha!