Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Raising a Rhinoceros (and His Sister)

If I were to start writing this blog today, it would be called something clever like "The Twinados" or "Raising a Rhinoceros x2". Clearly they were still very young and innocent when I started blogging. Oh how things can change in a year! 

When they were babies, I would have bet anything that Caroline would be the trouble maker and ring leader. Boy, was I wrong. Charlie's exploits range from climbing out of his crib to climbing onto our dresser. He has recently discovered that by moving the kitchen chairs around the house, he can get to nearly anything his little heart desires. He taught Caroline his little trick, but she is perfectly content with pushing her chair up to the light switch and turning the lights on and off. Not Charlie though. The chair can get him to the microwave, the sink, on top of the kitchen counters.. I could keep going but I won't.  

Yesterday he dragged the chair over to the silverware drawer. He opened the drawer and pulled every single utensil out, licked them, and threw them on the ground. Then he climbed down and picked up each utensil and one by one put them back in the drawer. After each one hit the drawer bottom, he congratulated himself with a "good boy!"

I've found him on the kitchen table with the blinds over his head, standing on the trays of the highchairs, standing on the arm of the armchairs in our living room, sitting inside of the dryer while Caroline tries to shut him in, on top of the desk, in the bathroom sink, and inside the entertainment center.

My biggest concern is how I'm going to keep him alive once this baby gets here. I've considered wrapping him completely in bubble wrap, but aside from that I am totally open to suggestions! Poor kid. He's constantly covered in bruises from head to toe.

Apart from climbing, some of his favorite activities include tipping over the trash cans and sorting through garbage, drinking all of the water out of the bathtub, opening the pantry and putting everything he can find inside, opening the drawers to his dresser and pulling out every item from inside, stashing food inside the couch to save for later, and diving into the toy box.

Caroline's mischief is slightly less... mischievous. She loves climbing into her high chair, standing on the table, banging silverware on the counter, playing with the light switches and buttons on the microwave, and stuffing diapers into the diaper genie. Like I said, pretty mild in comparison to her brother.

I don't mean to make it sound all bad. Of course they do crazy things and yes, my hands are full. But never in my entire life have I found so much joy in the little day-to-day moments. Despite the constant biting and hair-pulling, Charlie and Caroline really do love each other. They love giving each other books, toys and food. They LOVE reading, even occasionally together. They are excellent eaters and fantastic sleepers. They make each other laugh constantly.

Charlie loves music. His very favorite song is the ABC's and when he's upset, he'll calm down the instant he hears it. He can even sing most of it himself up to the letter "H". He loves stacking blocks and when he builds a tall tower he looks at it and then says "I did it!" Caroline is fascinated by chickens and bursts out in "bock, bock" at random times. She loves to pretend to eat pictures of food out of books, and "pops" every picture of bubbles she sees.

So if you've ever wondered what it's like to raise a rhinoceros and his sister, it is really hard work. Especially when you're 9 months pregnant. But it's so worth it.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Unpleasants

When I was 32 weeks pregnant with the twins, I felt like a small whale. Or a large whale. Something gigantic. I had over 10 lbs of baby inside of me, in addition to two placentas, lots and lots of fluid, and all my usual organs, which felt like they were being reduced to the size of peas. I was uncomfortable, to say the least. Caroline was up so high that I had to constantly push her legs and elbows out from under my rib cage. Charlie was so low that anytime he hiccupped, kicked, or wiggled at all, I peed my pants just a little bit. I generally prefer not to ponder on these "unpleasants" of pregnancy, but now that I am feeling as giant as a whale again, the memories are flooding back in.
While I was in the height of my discomfort with two babies inside of me, Forrest's work held an end -of-busy-season party. It had been a particularly awful busy season, where they were working 80-90 hour weeks for nearly 5 months. So to celebrate surviving the madness, we were invited to a lovely weekend resort stay, complete with meals, spa treatments, unlimited golfing etc. And it was wonderful.
I was treated to a facial, an hour-long pregnancy massage (with a giant pillow with a hole in the middle so I could actually lay on my stomach - pure bliss), an entire afternoon in the spa.. it was heavenly. One of the evenings, the company had arranged for all of us to get together for dinner at one of the fancy resort restaurants. I dressed up as fancy as is possibly for a small whale, and headed to dinner at 8 PM. That was a little late for me since my usual pregnancy bedtime was between 8:30 and 9:00. But I went anyway, and guided Forrest to a seat near the exit so I would be free to get up and use the restroom as needed. What I didn't know when we showed up was that we were about to be served a 500 course meal. Seriously, the food just kept coming. With plenty of time in between each course to cleanse our pallets, I suppose. I tend to drink a ton of water when I'm dining out. Especially when I have to wait a long time for my food. So I was drinking a lot of water, and my tiny little pea-sized bladder kept filling up all too quickly. And then Charlie felt it necessary to do a little jig at frequent intervals. All of this meant that I needed to use the restroom. A lot.
And the restroom was nowhere near where we were sitting. And it wasn't the "weave your way through all the tables to the other side of the restaurant" kind of trip to the restroom. The restaurant itself didn't actually even have a single toilet anywhere inside of it. Instead, guests had to stand up, weave their way through all the tables to get the to door, walk out the door and into the resort, and then walk another half-mile to the restrooms in the hotel lobby. It was quite the trek.
The entire journey to the restroom and back took me about 10 minutes. Which is about the frequency at which I felt I needed to use the restroom. So my night looked a little something like this:
8:00 - Seated
8:10 - Restroom break
8:20 - Eat first course, drink lots of water
8:21 - Restroom break
8:30 - Eat second course, drink a gallon of water
8:35 - Restroom break
And that was only the first half hour. This dinner continued on well into the 11:00 hour. And everyone seemed to be wide awake, with no intent to wrap it up anytime soon. Sometime after my 137th trip to the restroom, one of my husband's coworkers leaned in close to Forrest and quietly asked if I was ok. Forrest just laughed and responded that yes, I was fine, but pregnant women just have to pee an awful lot. Finally around 11:30, I could barely keep my eyes open. My legs were numb from sitting in the same chair for so long, and I needed to use the restroom yet again. I decided it was time for me to call it a night, so I excused myself for one final time and headed to bed while everyone else stayed and chatted and ate until heaven knows how late.
Thankfully I haven't had any experiences with the unpleasants this pregnancy that have even come close to that one. Even last night at Chili's, when I had to use the restroom four times during our hour long dining experience - it didn't even come close to what I experienced at the resort that night.
I had actually somewhat forgotten that resort dining experience until now. I think when I was pregnant with the twins I was just so beyond exciting to finally be pregnant that I blocked out all of the difficult and uncomfortable parts. I had waited so long for the experience, and it was something that I didn't know if I would ever get to experience again. So I chose not to dwell on the unpleasants, and to some extent I don't think I really noticed them. But let me tell you, I sure have noticed them this time!
It's a good think this pregnancy has been unpleasant, though, because otherwise I think I would want this baby to stay inside of me for as long as possible. Unpleasants make it exciting to think of the new baby finally being here, and help to drive away the terror of having 3 kids under the age of 2! Actually it doesn't completely drive away that terror... but it helps a little.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Flashback to the 90's

I may have been a slightly awkward pre-teen. And by slightly awkward, I mean REALLY awkward. Everybody goes through a stage right? I wore Harry Potter glasses, never brushed my hair, and hadn't quite grown into my long arms and legs. There's a reason my sister nicknamed me "Lurpy." I really was. And to add to it all, I was terribly uncoordinated.

What does that have to do with anything, you ask? Well, yesterday as I dropped a 6th egg out of the refrigerator I had a flashback to 1999, or maybe the early 2000's. It was awkward, uncoordinated pre-teen and early-teen me, dropping a brand-new jug of milk on the front steps and watching it shatter. Or tripping over my own feet in the middle of a soccer field with nobody else around me to disguise it.

Flash-forward to today. And I'm pretty much the same person, plus a husband and 2.5 kids. I don't remember being this clumsy when I was pregnant with the twins, but maybe that's because all I ever did was sit in a chair with my feet propped up and watch reruns of Psych. But now that I'm pregnant AND I still have to care for my two tiny humans, the clumsiness is more apparent than ever.

And it's not just dropping eggs. This morning Charlie and Caroline were playing on a chair together and I was sitting on the floor next to them. Caroline dove off the chair and into my arms, and I lost my balance and tipped both of us over onto the ground. On the way down, I hit into the chair and knocked Charlie (who was standing up without holding on) off on top of me and Caroline, resulting in two crying babies and one extra-long contraction.

I have to double check the floors 10 times before bed to make sure there are no toys, clothes, pillows etc. in my path from the bed to the bathroom. Because if there is so much as a cheerio on the ground, I can guarantee my feet will find it and somehow trip over it (as evidenced by multiple trip-and-falls per day).

Thank goodness I only have 4.5 more weeks of this. Any longer and I'm not sure we'd all survive!