Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Emotions dressed in baby clothes

Ugh, it's 7am and my hubby woke me up when he got up at 5.  And now I'm starving.  I spent the last hour sorting baby clothes from a friend plus what I still have saved, and I have nice neat piles of newborn, 3 month, and 6 month clothes on the floor of Tadpole's room.  I also still have two huge bins of clothes from another friend, which I'm sort of hoping are 6 month and up, so I can just transfer them to my own bins in the garage and not deal with them now.

Since I don't know where Nameless Baby is going to sleep, I have some storage space in Tadpole's room (where no one currently sleeps) and some in Turtle's room (where both kids currently sleep, but I'm thinking might eventually become a "boy room").  Tadpole didn't move all her stuff with her when she decided to start sleeping with Turtle, and still considers her room to be her own, so I can't exactly turn it into a nursery.  Interestingly, her room shares a wall with Turtle's room, and its the wall that Turtle's bed is up against.  Since I've been in here for the last hour sorting clothes, I have heard Turtle tossing and turning and bumping the wall a lot.  I'm wondering if he wakes up Tadpole and that's why she never gets enough sleep.

Going through these clothes has had a strong impact on me.  I can so clearly remember what it was like when the kids were babies and I dressed them in some of these clothes.  It's like I'm being transported through time to those early mornings when hubby was sleeping and I was up with one or both babies.  I can remember the quality of the light, the chaos of the house under construction, the quietness of the early morning hours, the first smiles.  I can remember the weather - even the winter weather like the rain, which we haven't had much of for four years now.  I remember the baby group with all the parents I met on those early Wednesday mornings.  The frustration with breastfeeding.  The long, long, looooong walks in the park trying to get the kids to nap, or go to sleep, or just getting myself out of the house.  The isolation and loneliness.  The awesomeness of being a new mother.  The insanity of having TWO babies together.

The clothes from when the twins were a bit older don't evoke those same emotions.  Maybe that's why I was able to get rid of the stuff that was over 6 months, but I could never manage to get rid of the 0-6 month stuff.  I feel like it's where my memories have resided for these past 5 years.  And those memories feel so different from what came after, too.  After those first 6 months, it feels more like just normal memories, things that don't make me feel like I'm tearing apart from the joy and grief  and pain and happiness and wonder and just overwhelming feelings.  But those first 6 months, man.  It's intense.  What a trip.  And I'm about to do it all over again.  I can't wait.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

child care

We've decided to go ahead and look for an au pair to help us this coming year, since we'll have two kids starting school, a newborn, and I will very possibly have a lot of work coming up with my husband's company.  I keep trying to remember how hard it was when the twins were little.  Things are so different now, though.  Here are some of my thoughts, in bullet form - I seem to think better in bullets.

  • I hate feeling like I can't do it all, especially since I don't have a full time job.  And sometimes I'd LIKE to have a real job and get out of this dang house once in a while, but it doesn't make any sense.  But it doesn't seem like it makes sense to have someone live with us to help when I don't even work (or at least, not that much).
  • I feel like we already pay for a lot of help - we have house cleaners and gardeners (although our yard is huge and all landscaped and there's no way I could or would do that myself).  Having someone to help with something else makes me wonder what in the world I DO all day.
  • Even though my twins will be in school, it's only 3 hours 20 minutes per day, and getting them there and back could be a pain.  Having someone to help with that would be nice.  
  • Since they aren't the same gender, they will be on different soccer teams and will likely branch out into other different activities.  My husband doesn't help out with stuff like that, and we will soon have three kids in different activities.  I admit I can't be in three places at once.  Or even two.
  • I have very mixed feelings about having someone live with us.  I am worried about lack of privacy in my own home.  It will make life easier for all of us, though, including the au pair.
  • I keep reminding myself that my husband can't/won't do all the things a regular working dad would do.  He is the CEO of a quickly-growing technology start-up.  He travels a lot.  He does long-distance commutes a lot.  He's often not here in the mornings, and is also gone a lot in the evening.  He works every free moment he can find, including weekends.  I'll have three kids and one of them will be a newborn.  Someone will have to step in when my husband can't be here, and we don't have family to help.
  • We'll have a built-in babysitter.  We NEED some couple time desperately.  Although I don't know if I can get my husband away from the computer enough to get it.
  • At the risk of stereotyping and over-exaggerating, I find Italian women to not fit in well with our family's lifestyle.  I REALLY want the language boost this would provide for my kids, but I don't like how the vast majority of Italian women I've met tend to be shallow and very appearance-focused.  I want to have a good role model for my daughter.  To be fair, two of the girls who've responded to our ad sound like they might work out, but it makes me nervous.  A year is a long time for an influence that I may not find to be very positive.
  • Along those lines, I'm not super excited about handing over a big part of raising my children to a total stranger.  I don't mean to sound completely negative about it, because I recognize that there can and WILL be a lot of benefits.  But this is definitely a drawback.
  • I am excited about having someone else around sometimes.  I get very lonely.  I may be able to focus on eventually having a career again.  I will probably be able to sneak in some short runs and maybe get to the gym to swim once in a while.  There are a lot of positives to having an au pair.
  • I'm uncomfortable with the whole employee v. member of the family relationship.  I'm assuming that it will just work itself out and we'll settle into a routine that will feel comfortable.
Anyway, that's just some stream of consciousness right now.  I'm not sure we can even find anyone and get this show on the road in enough time.  I'm due in 16 weeks, which is only about 3.5 months.  And I wanted the au pair to come a little while before the baby, so it would be easier on the kids.  We'll see!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

24 weeks

Time is sort of sneaking up on me.  I mean, it doesn't feel like it's flying, exactly, but here we are at 24 weeks.  Viability.  Theoretically anyway.  At this point in my last pregnancy I let out a big sigh of relief.  This time, I'm just busy busy busy.

My kids are in a week of summer camp, which is giving me a much-needed summer break.  Between holidays, birthday parties, and having the kids home full time, the house has been trashed and I haven't been able to catch up, much less maintain any form of cleanliness.  I have a HUGE to-do list this week and I'm sure I won't get through it, but I'm plugging away and working hard to do my best.  I hope by the end of the week, some relief will be in sight.

I'm working on a bunch of projects.  We're looking for an Italian-speaking au pair, with so far not great results.  I'm trying to get my vegetable garden back into shape, which is going to take more time than I thought.  I'm building a coffee table - also more time than I thought, but going well.  I want to make a quilt with my college t-shirts, which I found while making space in my closet for our sleeping bags, so that's another big project to work on.  I'm getting lots of donations for Baby #3 (otherwise known as Nameless Baby), and it's taking me a while to sort through them.  Plus, since I still don't know what the sleeping arrangements will be when he arrives and through his first year, I don't know exactly where to put his stuff.  Especially if we'll have an au pair in our guest room for a year.

I'm still doing swimming and yoga and enjoying them both.  We did another backpacking trip, and it was lots of fun, but there were tons of mosquitos and I didn't enjoy that part too much.  We're planning a vacation to Hawaii and then a camping trip to the Yosemite high country, which I'm hoping is going to work out.  The kids have a swim meet this weekend, if we want to give it a shot.  They'll start school in a little over a month, and soccer a few weeks after that.  I also think I'll have quite a bit of work coming up for my husband's company, so I'm trying to get ready for that.  At some point, I need to clean out a ton of stuff - closets, files, the garage.  I don't know when that will happen!  We're so busy!

Which brings me to my next point - I have to get back to work, I only have 1.5 hours before I have to pick up the kids, so back to work I go.  Cheers!

P.S. Feel free to give us suggestions for baby names - nothing too trendy, and it has to work (i.e. be pronounceable) in both English and Italian.