Tuesday, December 14, 2010

QOTW - Favorite Holiday Cookie

The multiples and more question of the week:

What is your favorite holiday cookie?

My favorite holiday cookie is the thumbprint cookie. For a few reasons. The jelly - you can make a huge variety of these simply by changing the flavor of jelly in them. The memory of baking these with family members - my Mom, my aunt, and my Grandma. Being able to smoosh your thumb into the cookie dough felt great when you may have been having a bad day and a little bit naughty since you're always told not to play with your food.

Here's the recipe. Try them and start a holiday baking tradition of your own.

1c butter, 2 eggs, 1/2c brown sugar, 1tsp vanilla, 1/4tsp salt, 2c flour ground nuts (for rolling).

Mix together butter, egg yolks, and remaining ingredients. refrigerate. Roll into 1 inch balls. Dip in egg whites and nuts. Bake350 for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and press thumb into center. Bake 8 minutes longer. Fill center with jelly.

Monday, December 6, 2010

QOTW: Holiday Tradtiions

The Multiples and More Question of the Week:
What are your family holiday traditions?
Tradition - def.: an inherited pattern of thought or action
So, although we seem to think that traditions mean always doing exactly the same thing it doesn't, by definition, necessarily mean that. Traditions can be altered yet still keep a similar pattern.
It's strange because the bugs are nearly two and a half years old and we haven't really begun any immediate family holiday traditions yet. Difficult to do so when your family status is up in the air. So we still practice our extended family traditions. Those traditions include traveling to our hometown and gathering together on Christmas Eve for dinner and opening gifts. Dinner always include fish and pasta - no meat. We exchange gifts with our extended family - aunts, uncles, and cousins. Christmas day is gifts from Santa in the morning and dinner mid-day - again with our extended family.
Update: J is back in our family. He took some time to get some help for his problem and seems committed to being a real part of our family. I don't know whether it will work or not. I don't know what the future holds. Not tomorrow and not ten years from now. But he is trying, and he loves the bugs, so one last chance he gets. I pray every day that he doesn't screw up again. I know that there is a big chance for failure in his situation however I've learned enough to know that we can only live one day at a time. Will we be able to piece the puzzle of our marriage back together? I don't know. I hope so. I never asked for any of this and having grown up in a divorced family I really want to try with whatever I have in me to make it work. But if it doesn't work at least I know that I did what I could.
So, beginning this year, since the bugs are at an age where they are beginning to realize what Christmas, and Santa, are we are going to try to begin to build our own family traditions. And, it won't matter in the future whether it's me, J, and the bugs or just me and the bugs...
My plan for our "new traditions" is: having Christmas Eve dinner in our home - and keeping the tradition of a dinner of seafood, attending a Christmas Eve church service, hot chocolate and reading "Twas the night before Christmas" before bed. Playing Santa when the bugs go to bed - I am sooo excited to do this! Opening gifts from Santa on Christmas morning and then traveling to Christmas dinner and gifts with our extended family.
A little bit of old and new.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday!


Happy Birthday Alex and Landon!
I can not believe that you are two years old today. Two years ago I woke up not feeling so great. Two years ago I was sitting in a hospital bed for 6 hours waiting for them to wheel me into the OR for the surgery. Two years ago you both came into the world healthy.
Best, best, best day of my life.
With each day that passes my love for you grows too. I am amazed by you each and every day - what you are learning, the funny things you say and do, and how during the long battle with infertility I never thought I would be where I am today.
Enjoy your cupcakes with blue frosting (that we put three eggs into) and have fun opening your presents. I know you're going to love the cake we have for the party on Saturday. We'll find those party hats and make everyone wear them - Cooper too.
I wish for all of your birthdays to be happy and filled with wonderful memories.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Blogoversary to me!

3 years writing. A lot has happened - battle infertility, get pregnant, actually have two healthy children, struggles with marriage, struggles with job, life...

I may not write as often as I'd like - it's tough with two young kids pulling at your pant legs and trying to type on the keyboard at the same time you are. But I love having this place to vent and share.

and the weird thing I just realized is that I started blogging almost one year to the day before the bugs were born...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Road Trip

The bugs and I are getting ready to take a road trip tomorrow. Going to NH to visit my sister and brother-in-law. It's almost a 7 hour drive and because I'm brave, but not that brave, I decided that we will drive half-way, stop at my Dad's for the night, and drive the other half the next day. I'm just not sure how they'd do in the car for 7 hours. They will still usually sleep for a few hours, but then what? Then I'm stuck fighting with them over why Mommy can't pick up their dropped juice cup and risk getting sideswiped by that big truck next to us and the crying that ensues from that conversation. Or listening to Alex screaming because Landon and I are singing. That child just does not like anyone to sing unless He is in the mood for singing.
I'm a little worried about the trip as my sister has a rather large dog and an in ground pool. My kids have some unusual toddler fears - the air conditioner, motorcycles driving by, and car horns beeping - I just don't want to get home from our weekend with the added fears of water and dogs. Am I too much of a worrier?
I'm also hoping that I can fit everything into the car - I still need to bring the stroller because I can't figure out how to get two toddlers into a reststop on the highway by myself without one. And I still need to bring two pack n plays because we haven't transitioned into beds yet.
I just keep telling myself that this is going to be fun. And my kids will grow up with fond memories of our family trips. Will they wonder though why every picture shows Mommy with frazzled hair (or a glass of wine in her hand)??

In other news...we've mastered the Happy Birthday song and are ready for the big 2 next month. We absolutely love the playground now that we can go up and down the slide ourselves, and we can name every truck in our truck book, even the excavator (which is pretty funny to hear us try to say)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Up all night

Well not literally. Actually only about 3 hours of the night - but that always makes me feel like I've been up all night. Used to be when I was younger I could stay up all night without one ounce of effect on my mind or body the next day. Time takes it's toll on a person. Now, when one of the bugs is up at night, I feel like I can't function the next day. Kind of like I have a hangover, but without having had the fun of the drinking part.
Alex decided last night between 1:30am-4am was play and talk time. Even going so far as to try to pry my eyelids open while I pretended to sleep. Alas, my little boy is no longer fooled by my fake snoring. No matter how I begged or what I threatened (no Mickey Mouse tomorrow, no swings, etc) he would not go back to sleep - just continued to jump, bounce, talk, want to read stories....darn molars coming in do it every time!

Is it awful to say that I was slightly smiling when I woke him up in the morning as he tried to hide under the blanket from me? Although he's no worse for the wear - he at least can take a nap today.

Me on the other hand - I need to go make another pot of coffee.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Looks

So, I've changed the layout and design of the blog. I guess I just needed something different. It's kind of like my life right now too. Clouds are passing, the blue sky is ahead, it's just still a little bit fuzzy right now. But I'm heading toward it. It's definately there.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Since June 1st the bugs daycare provider has slightly changed. The woman who was watching them needs to have some surgery so her daughter took over the business. No new children, no new place, just a new face answering the door in the morning. T is even still there for most of the day - although she's trying to take more of a backseat so the kids can get more used to C.
My boys have had terrible separation anxiety every morning since. It is breaking my heart! Every morning the crying, the real tears streaming down their faces, and now Alex is on to the fact that that's where he's going so he refuses to get out of his crib. I thought we were passed the Separation issues. Now it seems we've been thrust right back to the start.
They are fine - by the time I get back to the car I know they've stopped crying because the windows are open and I can hear that they've settled down. When I pick them up in the afternoon they are happily playing. It's just the morning. But it's awful. and it really does a number on my level of Mommy guilt.

How can a single working mother of twins give them both enough love and attention so they feel confident when I leave that I'll return; So they don't cry every single morning? I just want to see them happy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rain, rain go away

It's raining outside
Mommy's going insane
The bugs have their noses
pressed on the window pane

We play cars, and trucks, and then with our train
We color, watch Barney,
then make paper airplanes

We're teething, we're fighting
tantrums, screaming on the floor
One just shut his brother between the two doors

It's raining outside
Mom thinks how much more can I take
before I lose my mind and I fall down or break

Afternoon comes
we fight - we don't want to nap
We'd rather push each other
and fight for Mom's lap

Finally quiet
asleep in our bed
Mommy may even be able to rest her own head

The peace and the quiet
Mom can hear the clock ticking on the wall
Even with all of the chaos
She wouldn't trade one moment at all

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Project IF

What if my spouse and I don't make it? What if we can't survive the crushing mountain of stress that infertility, pregnancy loss, and all things associated with them, places on us?

I've been haunted by this thought for so many years.

My husband and I have been friends since 1983, together as a couple since 1998, been married since 2001, and began trying to conceive in January 2002. In the beginning of our infertility journey we were happy, mostly worry free people. We were confident that we'd one day be parents. We set off on the journey together; a team; hand in hand.

Then somehow we got lost along the way. Not hard to do when you are in a constant sea of medical appointments, tests, injections, hormones, being poked and prodded, asked embarrassing questions, having humiliating and sometimes painful procedures, figuring out where money for all this is going to come from, loans, borrowing from retirement funds, trying to resolve yourself to the fact that this is going to take way longer than you anticipated. While month after month passed, and turned into year after year, it began to take its toll on our emotional health. Then the tidal wave came - success from IVF #3, only to experience no heartbeat at our 12 week appointment. Crushed, devastated, no other words to explain it. And, we were out of money. Yet the responses you get from people in real life are that you can just try again. No one really has any idea about the experience. Infertility is isolating, humiliating, embarrassing, stressful, chaotic.

This is where the changes in personality come in - enter hateful, jealous, resentful me. Enter the me that doesn't give a crap about anyone or anything, except herself. Not.even.her.husband.

And this is where we must not have been hanging on to each other's hands tight enough. Hell, I wasn't really hanging on at all. Honestly I don't know how it all affected J because looking back I wasn't really paying attention to him . I had become so focused, so obsessed with the outcome of having children, that he nearly ceased to exist, except for the times when we needed to have sex on demand. J could have walked out, a different person replacing him, and I probably would not have noticed a thing. I just wanted to resolve this all - where the hell were my babies?!

I wanted resolve so I could get on with my life but while I was searching for resolve my life with my spouse was slipping away.

Once I "recovered" from the miscarriage I threw myself into the world of infertility again. Finding more money, researching every procedure out there, find whatever way possible to have children.
Somewhere between the time of our miscarriage (2006) and the time our twins were born (2008) J developed a drug problem. A serious drug problem. You may think I'm crazy here but I didn't ever see it. I was blind to the fact -blind to everything he did. If it didn't have to do with me getting pregnant, staying pregnant, having babies -I didn't see it at all. Now he's so deep into it I'm not sure he'll ever get out. And, our marriage, well, that doesn't even exist anymore. On paper sure, but not really, it's gone, and I'm not sure we can find a way to get it back. Sad, we've lost a near 30 year relationship.

I consider myself a fairly strong person - I can handle a lot. When the stress of infertility hit me, I went to counseling, joined online support groups, read books on the subject to gain knowledge of how to deal with it all, started blogging. These were my outlets, ways to keep my sanity. J didn't do any of things things.

Now here's my theory: I believe that he internalized it - and now I think there's a possibility that his drug problem may stem partly from his inability to handle the stress from our journey. His hurt over all of it, of not being able to have children the normal way, of what it all did to our relationship, is made better by the numbing effects of drug use. Are there other factors involved? Sure - a predisposition to addictive personality, prior experimentation with drugs, whatever. But the thought remains - if we didn't go through infertility, if we didn't lose our first baby, if we had had our children the "normal" way, if it hadn't taken so long, if I hadn't gotten lost along the way, would J be in the position he's in today? Would our marriage be in the position its in today?

I'll never really know that answers to these questions. Time does not go backwards, infertility was and will always be our reality, and we will never know if things had been different if things would be different today.

I also have to wonder through all of this, what if it wouldn't be different? What if no matter what was different in the past J still ended up where he is today; and our marriage ended up shattered? What if in order to have my two beautiful children I had to walk this road?

What if, because of all that I've been through which has changed me and made me grow as a person, my children can grow up to be happy, confident, successful, loved men?

For information on helping to understand infertility check out www.resolve.org/infertility101

For information on National Infertility Awareness Week, April 25-May 1, 2010, visit www.resolve.org/takecharge

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This is how big we've gotten

Is the circus in town?

Wow. That's all I can say when I look at how long it has been since I last posted.
There's probably not anyone even still out there paying attention.

I can tell you that since the last post the bugs have celebrated their 1st birthday, learned to walk and run, learned to talk (a lot), had a second Halloween where Mommy just couldn't get it together enough to dress them up, celebrated Thanksgiving where they could actually eat Turkey and mashed potatoes (and loved it), marveled at a Christmas tree with lots of lights and balls on it often too tempting not to touch, figured out how to plot against Mommy, celebrated another Easter where Mommy just couldn't get it together enough to take them to visit the Easter Bunny (have I mentioned that having twins is HARD) and learned to not be afraid to walk on grass. They've done much more that that - those are my highlights. Alex is up to 27 pounds and Landon is 23 1/2 pounds. I thought it was tough when they were first born but pushing the stroller is really a workout now.
Since the last post J has come and gone, and come and gone, and is gone again. This time most likely for the long term. It's too hard for the bugs and I to have to deal with his issues. Life is much more peaceful with him not living in our house. However, where he's at now, he can't even see the boys, and won't be able to for some time. I've told them that Daddy has a boo boo that need to get better before he can come home. So, they think he's off at some doctor somewhere and he'll be back when the boo boo is better. Sad thing is Mommy's not sure if Daddy's boo boo will ever be better.

My life has been like a three ring circus this past year. I juggle single motherhood, a crazy job where I often feel like I am drowning, and dealing with a marriage that is falling apart - one that I didn't want to fall apart and I've tried holding on but am losing my grip. The balls are all up in the air - red, blue, green, yellow. And, to top it off I'm walking on the tight rope while doing the juggling. I do my best not to drop any of the balls and keep my balance. But every day I fear that I won't be able to do it. And, I'm afraid of what will happen then.