Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And you thought eating just one Lay's potato chip was hard

We are about two weeks away from the twins' first birthday, and I don't want to be premature on calling this, but it appears as though we will all actually live to see that day.  I have been fortunate to read a lot of insightful posts reflecting on lessons learned about raising twins through the first 12 months of life.  This will not be one of those posts.  Instead, I created a list in the hopes of normalizing what new twin mommies are going through, and giving the rest of the world a glimpse into this challenge.

So here it is: Ten things that are easier than surviving the first year of parenting multiples.

1. Earning 100% on every quiz, test, and paper in an advanced college organic chemistry class.

2. Finding the perfect birthday gift for your sister/BFF/mother/grandma who already has everything and has returned every present you bought her for the past 10 years.

3. Becoming fluent in Kamassian, an extinct language of Russia whose last native speaker died in 1989.

4. Painting your toenails and fingernails, with accuracy, while sitting in complete darkness next to a humming bee's nest.

5. Losing the last 20 10 pounds of baby weight.

6. Convincing your 3-year-old that he doesn't really want to watch Little Einsteins for the umpteenth time, but would instead be happier catching the latest episode of What Not To Wear.

7. Identifying all symbolic objects and allegorical relationships in the book "Lord of the Flies" without buying Cliffs Notes or consulting Wikipedia.

8. Fitting into your skinny jeans, when you have your period and just polished off an entire can of Pringles (washed down with some Coke and a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups).

9. Composing a blog post, with actual sentences that make actual sense, when you've had 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep only a handful of times in the past year.

10. Finding true and everlasting love as a contestant on The Bachelor.

And because it's easier than writing actual sentences that make actual sense, now some photos.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The best three years that have ever kicked my butt

I can think of no better way to jump back into blogging after an inadvertent dry spell than to celebrate the birthday of my dear sweet Bean.  Yesterday he turned three, and it was unexpectedly very emotional for me -- much harder than two, or even one.  He has officially graduated from "toddler" to "preschooler," creeping dangerously closer to being "school age" when he will head to kindergarten with a Spiderman backpack, freshly sharpened Number 2 pencils, and a cell phone with a Cee Lo Green ringback tone.  *sigh*  They grow up so fast.

In the meantime, though, I am enjoying the fleeting moments when our home and family is still the center of his world.  Bean is such a bright child, a thoughtful child, a careful child.  He is creative, inquisitive, funny, and snuggly. The past year hasn't been easy for him, with me on bedrest and then welcoming two infant brothers into the family.  He struggles with Nix and Gax at times, as they require a lot of attention and have now taken a decided interest in Bean and anything he is doing.  But Bean will also comfort them when they cry, share his toys (when he feels like it), feed them tiny bits of his dinner, and make silly noises that make them giggle.  We do our best to show Bean that he is still special and still valued; I can only hope the message is received.

Bean's favorite activities these days are playing with Thomas the Train and cars, drawing pictures, cooking, asking "Why?", avoiding his brothers, listening to music, doing puzzles with Bumpa, taking baths, begging for treats, cuddling with Mom or Grandma, building towers with Legos, playing Mario Kart with his Dad, refusing to go potty on the toilet, playing with playdough, and watching television (especially Little Einsteins, Super Why, and Cat in the Hat) and movies (Cars and Toy Story are favorites).  He is currently a picky eater, although he seems to be getting more open-minded again.  His favorite foods are cinnamon waffles, pancakes with chocolate chips, mac and cheese, spaghetti, quesadillas with salsa, grilled cheese, strawberry smoothies, "skinny noods" (i.e. skinny noodles, or raw angelhair pasta), Chicken McNuggets, fries, fruit snacks, and ice cream.  Obviously, he has good taste, just like his mama.  Except he's still in the stage when weight gain is a GOOD thing.  Until you find yourself on the Maury Povich Show as the 250 pound 4-year-old who smokes two packs of cigarettes a day.  Or wait, I'm mixing up my episodes.  Nevermind.

I am so grateful that Bean is my son.  I was happy with my life before he was born -- married to my soulmate, pursuing a career that I loved, and sleeping.  (Oh the sleeping!)  But becoming a mother has given me a deep sense of peace and contentment that I never could have imagined.  Which is saying a lot in this household these days.  But back to Bean, this post belongs to him.  Happy birthday, my amazing boy.  I wish you a lifetime of happiness.  And know that I will be here for you every step of the way, with fruit snacks and cuddles whenever you need them.

I've jotted down a few Beanisms, as I always enjoy reading these on other mommy blogs (especially Alana's!).  It's better when said in his tiny, sweet, high little voice, but this will have to do!


Me (trying to prepare him for ditching his nap/night binky on his birthday): Bean, when we turn three years old, we don't use a binky anymore.

Bean (with a bright smile): No, silly mommy. I'm turning three and I have a binky every day!


Me: Honey, are you ready to go downstairs with me?

Bean (looking over at me from the computer area): No, I'm going to stay up here and do emails.


Bean (while getting on his PJs for bed): Daddy, what do you want for Christmas next year?

DH: I'm not sure. I got everything I wanted this year.

Bean (passes gas and grins goofily): Do you want my farts for Christmas?


Bumpa: Bean, your little brothers really look up to you.

Bean (considering this, with furrowed brow): Yeah, and they look up to the ceiling, too.


Bean (looking at name tags on a table at preschool): Mommy, which one is mine?

Me (picking up his tag, which is decorated with animal stickers): Here it is, sweetie.

Bean (looks at the letters carefully): Mom, my name starts with "Cow"?


Bean (from the back seat of my mom's car): Grandma, where did you get that coat?

Grandma: Oh, do you like it?

Bean: Grandma, I just asked where you got it.

Bean (walking to my mom's car): Grandma, can we listen to "Mumford and Sons" in your car?

Grandma: I'm sorry, honey, I don't have "Mumford and Sons" in my car.  Maybe you can make me a CD.

Bean: Grandma, I'm just a kid. I can't make a CD.

And finally, some pictures of his big day.

DH and I got him a Batman tricycle.  As soon as summer arrives in Seattle and it stops raining, he can ride it around the neighborhood.  Those will be a fun four days.

Grandma and Bumpa came over and brought more gifts, including Gordon the Train.  He's the same color as Thomas, but he's longer.  So naturally we need both.

Here is a picture of me and DH and Bean. Are you shocked, to be getting such a gift?!  I bet you think it's your birthday too.  But it's not.

We had a birthday party for him at the local kids' gym where he attends class once a week with his Dad.  It was an absolute blast, and a stress-free party for me.  No cleaning, no entertaining, no serving.  I still managed to forget drinks for everyone, because I am talented like that, but as no one collapsed from dehydration, I'm going to call it a success.

My reward for the day: his smile!