Friday, February 27, 2009

Dry Run

Today I decided to do a dry run as to how our mornings will go starting next week. When I am back at work. Work. Traffic. Client demands. Okay, moving on. This dry run was inspired by Laura C who plans everything in advance (the whole birthday cake thing amazed me).

Penny was wide awake at 5 am but I sent Husband in to swaddle her and she went back to sleep. I turn on the monitor. 6:15 am - cute little shrills/shrieks from Ned. Discussion with Husband: "Do you want me to give Penny her medicine?" [This is our form of negotiation - I'm really asking, do you have the energy so I can steal a bit more sleep? He's exhausted so I do it so he can get a bit more sleep.] I give Ned a pacifier to no real effect. I give Penny her medicine. She's awake so I unswaddle her and turn Ned from his tummy to his back - but keep them in the dark. I prepare bottles (using premade formula; Nanny makes pitchers of formula for the day when she arrives). Brush teeth, floss and whiten. Jump in shower after letting Husband know he's in charge and that Penny can't eat until 6:45. Husband gets up and tries to stall the kids by putting them in the same crib with mobile (buys about 5 mins). 6:30ish he feeds Ned after a diaper change. I'm out of the shower and I moisturize face, add some hair product and put up my hair (so it stays wet). 6:40ish I feed Penny. More diaper changes, putting them in clothes.

Kids go downstairs in exersaucers about 7 am and they play while I run upstairs and blowdry my hair - it does not turn out as well as I hoped. I then feed the kids their solid food. Today Husband has a slow start so he's in his robe and made coffee (I'm not getting used to that). I hope to eat something while I feed the kids their solids (so we have breakfast together) but need to go grocery shopping before that can happen. I play with the kids until they go down for their first nap at 8:20 am - this includes a blowout diaper for Ned complete with outfit change and a new diaper for Ms. Sweet P. Nanny arrives at 8:30 am. I will leave by 9 am and pray it only takes me 30-45 mins to get to work. How do people get infant twins out of the house to daycare?

Normally I'd put makeup on and get dressed after the tykes go down for naps. Today I'm blogging. Husband and I need to be better about picking up the house at night before bed (instead of vegging in front of the TV until we're too tired to do any chores). Fortunately Nanny empties the dishwasher and washes and folds the kids clothes.

Time change is coming up...I think I'm going to have to get up and be fully washed and hair and makeup done before the kids are up since they won't be napping until after the nanny gets here. It can be tough to get up early when I often work as late as 10 or 11 pm but I don't want to miss any time with the kids.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Minor Celebrity

I feel like a minor celebrity with an interview posted at How Do You Do It. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Half a Year/Two Times the Fun

The kids are now 6 months old. They are full of surprises and fun every day.

To Penny: Your smile lights up my world. How do you manage to open your eyes so wide and have shiny cheeks? Bottles may not be your thing but talking is - lots of shrieks and trills and gurgles to let me know you are having fun rolling from side to side (but not over...) on the floor. You like to keep four fingers close together as you reach for new toys. You can now put weight on your feet and are starting to sit some on your own. Little Miss Looky-Lou lately - you are always craning your head to see what is going on. I promise not to let you miss any fun.

To Ned: How great is it that you wake up with little shrieks of joy? When you actually talk it is the softest little gurgles that melt my heart. Impatient to eat solid food; you are content to chill in your exersaucer trying to figure out how all the toys work once your belly is full. You reach out for your sister when you hang out together on the floor. Rolling is not your thing but you love to sit up - and sometimes can even do so without any help. Daddy can make you laugh like crazy when he "drops" the fitness ball on you. If you had your way you'd be held all the time and you bribe me with "kisses" to get me to hold you.

I may be going back to work but I will be thinking of you all the time.

Love, Mommy, Esq.





Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Emergency Info Sheet for Nanny

I'm putting together a sheet on emergency info for our nanny. Full names of the kids, health insurance info, doctor info, allergies (thankfully none so far), medicines, emergency contact (Husband, me, my parents), poison control and fire and police and hospital, where the fire extinguisher and flashlight are. What else am I missing? I'm thinking SSI numbers aren't appropriate if she has health insurance info. The Nanny also has a key and a garage door opener. Eventually (in the next couple of months) we are buying less expensive car seats for her car. Plus Husband works only 15 minutes away and he will be driving the minivan to work.


I'm also putting together a schedule (really more for Husband than Nanny) and a day care type sheet for her to record feedings, etc. so I am completely in the loop. The schedule includes chore info (how to work dishwasher, washing machine).


P.S. Penny surprised me and her by rolling over tonight after the kids' last nap. She was reaching for a toy and was only wearing a diaper. Sorry to my in-laws who spoke with us via Skype about 10 mins before Penny did it - I wish you could have seen it too!

This is a photo of Penny "stretching it out" after a nap when we unswaddle her.

Monday, February 23, 2009

W is for Work

This is my last week at home.  This morning I lay in bed (thanks to a 5:30 am wake up from the tykes) thinking about all the things I'd miss.  I'm going to be home until close to their first nap time (leaving for work at 9 am) so I'm happy I get to play and put them down for naps most mornings unless I have early calls. 

Things I'll Miss:

1.  Not checking my blackberry. 
2.  Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner when I want from my own fridge/cabinets.
3.  Play dates. 
4.  Snuggling Ned before putting him in his crib for naps. Watching him snuggle with his monkey blankie as he falls asleep. 
5.  Trying to convince Penny to roll and not just hang out all the time on her side. 
6.  Watching Penny in the Jumparoo.  Watching Penny chomp on Ellie's elephant trunk. 
7.  Ned's gurgle-giggles and the way he keeps a pouch of formula in his mouth after meals (the better to drool with). 
8.  Giggles. Squeals.  Knowing exactly what they are doing every minute of every day. 
9.  Eating dinner with my Husband.  Being able to have a glass (or two) of wine. 
10.  Watching TV. 
11.  Having time to do some chores. 
12.  Not having to shower, blow dry my hair or put on makeup. 
13.  Not cramming a million chores/errands into a Saturday. 
14.  These tykes - 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Penny Plays to the Crowd

On Friday I took Penny by herself to see the Ear, Nose & Throat specialist - the same doctor who clipped her tongue.  Penny snorts - all the time.  Like a rhinoceros.  When people spend time with her they all ask - "does she sound like this all the time?!"  Yup.  After having so many visitors remark on it and feeling like our pediatrician wasn't really answering the issue ("She may just have narrow nasal passages") I decided to take her in to see the ENT.  Thank goodness for PPOs!  $20 co-pay later and I have my answer...nothing particularly wrong with her and hopefully she'll just grow out of it.  Her adenoids are on the larger size (a gift from Mommy, Esq. who had the same problem as a little girl but since she also got those eyelashes from my side of the family I hope she won't hold it against me).  The acid reflux is likely aggravating the nasal passages and it is normal that despite the different types of acid reflux drugs we've tried there hasn't been much improvement.  The drugs control acid, not eliminate it.  

The ENT said it is like Penny is eating while having a clothespin on her nose.  Our pediatrician and I also spoke yesterday and we are just going to wait with Penny and not see a GI specialist even though her eating is even worse (if we are lucky we get her to eat 20 ounces a day, usually it is closer to 16 ounces).  I'm just doing what I can not to compare her to Ned in development and/or eating but it is hard.  Husband has also convinced me not to call in an Early Intervention evaluator even though I know her motor skills (primarily use of her hands) is behind that of her peers (and behind Ned).  My sisters and I were probably behind but we eventually caught up - likely it is our gene pool and not because we were preemies that account for the fact we have zero athletic abilities. 

When Penny and I were out together yesterday people kept stopping and admiring Penny.  And man did she play it up - staring with her big eyes and then ducking her head shyly (snorting all the while, of course).  The comments went on to the point I was honestly getting a little worried that if I turned my back on her she might be snatched.  I know she's a pretty girl and at first it was nice to hear so many people remark on it.  But don't give her (or me) a big head!  Let's focus on skill development not baby modelling.  I think if all these strangers had to try to "convince" her to eat 3 ounces at bedtime every night or get up with her at 5:30 am they wouldn't be thinking she was so cute. 

I think Husband hopes that once I go back to work I'll be spending less time fixating on every little thing that could be wrong with my kids.  Ha!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Little Helper/ Nap Question

The nanny has been the most help when it comes to laundry - she's been folding and making sure the kids' clothes get washed. I usually throw some in before she gets here. Sometimes if Ned is up from his AM nap early he helps me.





Question for everyone regarding afternoon naps: The nanny has been having to wake the kids up after they go down for their 1 pm nap to feed them at 3 pm (she gives them until 3:15 pm or 3:20 pm to wake them up). We feed them solids at 4:30 pm but they have been practically falling asleep while eating. She and I discussed letting the kids sleep as long as they want for their afternoon nap and if they need a third nap do one (still around 5 pm) but be okay if they want to skip it - Penny seems to be wanting to miss it but I usually make her go down and she will sleep if I put her down. I'm a little worried they won't be hungry for their bedtime bottles but they have been eating much less in those bottles anyway (Ned sometimes only eats 5 ounces and this is a kid who eats 8.5 ounces in his other bottles). I'm also ammenable to this pushing their bedtime a little later if they keep taking the third nap (lights are currently out at 7 pm). What does everyone think - should I let my kids sleep as long as they want for their afternoon nap or keep waking them up to have them on a 4 hour eating schedule? Interestingly enough they have been eating their 11 am bottles earlier (around 10:30/10:45 am) and eating a ton of solids but I still would have thought they would want to eat again by 3 pm. Oh, and their third nap is still a good 45 mins or longer so I have a hard time imagining they will drop it soon although then they are still ready for bed (cranky although not hungry) at 6:15 pm.

As usual thanks for your advice!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Krusty Kids

Mommy, Esq. has been picking a lot of buggers lately and not her own. The kids had slight colds and their noses have been crusty for a while. I wipe their noses at bath time, have a humidifier in their room and put Aquaphor on their noses (and cheeks and wherever else has dry skin) but it seems like after every nap there I am picking off the crusties! I so knew I'd be that mom. They absolutely hate it!


[Penny takes a run at being cuter than the Pottery Barn catalog kids.]

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Husband!

Husband turned 33 today. If I had gotten my act together I would have done some cute kid thing for him - like one of those cheesy mugs with a photo of the kids and the words "World's Greatest Dad". But with the christening and hordes of relatives I never got the chance. Good thing when I came home on Thursday night he showed me the lovely new GPS I apparently bought him.

Happy Birthday, Husband!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baptism

Today we had the kids baptized. Husband and I aren't much of churchgoers but I like the tradition and sense of community. Although I will likely find a church closer to where we live for the kids to attend Sunday School we had them baptized at the same church the Esq. family (on my paternal side) has attend since it was formed back in 1711 (technically the church is related to the Pilgrims and I hear that more witches were put to death in our town than in Salem, MA but I haven't done any research to confirm).

I put together a very detailed itinerary for the day. And I'm happy to report that Ned and Penny did incredibly well. After AM bottles (and man, they got up early!) and a bit of play time I packed them into the car in their PJs. Off to my parents' house (stopping by Dunkin' Donuts for some coffee and munchkins) where I transitioned both kids to naps - and they woke up but fell asleep. We woke them before 10 am to get them dressed.



Then we went off to the church. We offered bottles to keep them happy - Ned ate some but Penny wasn't interested because she was much too busy looking around.



Both kids were very quiet standing in front of the church but our friend Linda told us they each gave a big smile when they were "presented" to the congregation. A member later told me she had never seen such well behaved kids at a baptism before. My kids are such charmers!

Ned may have been a little bored (or, more likely his nap too short) since he decided to snooze in his dad's arms.

Back at my parents' house we had sandwiches and fried chicken (Husband insisted on the chicken). Despite being up before 10 am (and not eating very well) the kids made it in very good spirits until 1 pm before heading down for a nap. Penny's Grandpa Bill kept her entertained while Ned was fascinated by Shane (their uncle, Rachel's husband). Penny curled up with Whisper, my mom's cat.



Here is Ned with Rachel (Husband's sister) and Dan (Husband's best friend), his godparents:



Penny was getting a bit tired when we tried for pictures of her with Andrew (my brother) and Helen (my best friend) - her godparents:



This was the same weekend as my sister Stacey's baby shower so I got some quick time with my sisters. I'm going to try to visit them both after their babies are born but Allie was upset to think she wasn't sure she would see the tykes for some time. Our grand plan is to some day live in the same area but since we are all home owners with jobs we aren't sure how or when that will happen.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lucky Mommy, Esq.

I mentioned back in January that we have been in a sweet spot with the kids.  I can't believe how much fun we have every day and how "good" the kids are. Sure, we still have some fussing (sorry, Ned, mostly you) but so much laughter!  All our visitors keep saying how laid back they are.  This weekend is the kids' baptism and my sister Stacey's baby shower and next week the nanny starts full time.  I want to remember all the fun the kids and I have had so I thought I'd write about our current "schedule".  It has been this way since early January and I know the kids love the predictability as much as I do.  I was actually just mentioning to folks that although twin kids have flatter heads (because they are on the floor all the time - hard to be always holding two!) they nap better and are more structured because you have to do that with two (or more). 
  • 6:00 am:  We hear Ned waking up (have I mentioned he is LOUD?).  Penny is usually up since 5 am but she just lies in her crib (or rotates herself around) - no idea why she only needs 10 hours of sleep.  Sometimes she gets fussy but not often. One of us (we trade off but don't keep score) gives her the Previcid (we switched drugs) by holding it against her cheek until it dissolves.  If I am lucky we can convince Ned to go back to sleep for a bit with a pacifier.  He is really tired (needs 12 hours) but won't sleep past 6 am.  Otherwise both kids are in Penny's crib watching the mobile while her medicine takes effect.  [Don't worry, Ned has a mobile but it is Husband's old one and is a handcrank.]  The person who gives Penny her medicine prepares AM bottles.  Mommy, Esq. and Husband try to stay in bed but end up talking (usually about the kids). 
  • 6:30/6:45 am:  bottles.  We trade off kids but again don't keep score.  On the weekend one of us per weekend morning gets to sleep in. 
  • 7:15 am:  Mommy, Esq. gets the kids dressed while Husband gets ready for the day. 
  • 7:30-8:00 am: Play time on the mats/exercauser/bouncy chairs.  Whatever can be done to keep them going while Mommy, Esq. empties the dishwasher and makes herself coffee/breakfast.  Eventually I'll add solid food breakfast but our current regime of 4 bottles plus 2 solid foods = lots of energy spent on feeding. 
  • 8:00/8:15 am:  Ned is getting cranky.  Mommy, Esq. tries her arsenal of tricks to keep him awake and happy.  He thinks pacifiers are funny but not useful.  More fun is when Mommy, Esq. rough-houses - songs, throwing him in the air, "crushing" him with the large exercise ball (Husband discovered that fun game).  Penny plays more independently but she gets some Mommy, Esq. time too. I try to remember she should get rough-housed too. 
  • 8:30:  If we are lucky Ned made it this long.  Take him upstairs and rock him while he coos from behind the pacifier and starts to drift a little.  Put him in the crib with a blanket on him.  Penny goes down soon after - swaddled with a pacifier in the bopi (she is particular!). 
  • 8:30-10:00 am (or later): Nap time.  Ned always wakes up but eventually goes back to sleep.  Sometimes he sleeps 2 hrs but usually 1.5 hrs (our minimum). Penny is up around 10:30 am. Mommy, Esq. either (a) goes back to bed (not often), (b) checks blogs/blogs, throws in laundry or (c) bakes (happening less often).
  • 10:00-10:45 am: kids wake up (guess who wakes up first?).  Playtime with tummy time since the kids have empty bellies. 
  • 10:45/11 am: bottles in the bopis.  Kids are starting to hold their own bottles but aren't that skilled so Mommy, Esq. still holds them.  Penny takes twice as long to feed. 
  • 11:30/11:45: solid food - 1 veggie and 1 fruit.  Ned whines for solid food - as if somehow I am not spooning it in soon enough.  Who knew that 5 month olds could whine?  He has not yet learned that I don't care and don't speed up for his whining.  Whining still continues though.  Grammie has told Ned that Mommy, Esq. and her sisters were very patient during solid feedings but he is indifferent.  Penny lets you know when she is done by blowing the food out with raspberries.  They need quite the wipe-down after lunch.  Sometimes I do too. 
  • 12:15-12/45 pm: playtime - exersaucers, mats, book before nap.  Singing crazy songs.  Cleaning up spit up (extra points if it is colored - orange (squash), green (peas/green beans) or brown (prunes)). 
  • 1 pm: nap.  This is their awesome nap.  Ned usually briefly wakes up but we get about 2 hrs per kid and often have to wake them up for their next feeding. Mommy, Esq. has lunch, does some "work" (email, To Do List items). 
  • 3:00/3:15 pm: bottles.
  • 3:30-4:30: playtime - definitely have a CD of kid songs on. 
  • 4:30 pm: solids - veggie or fruit (usually sweet potato) and rice cereal.  
  • 5:00 pm: last nap.  It is getting shorter and sometimes we have to put Penny in the swing to get her to go down. I will miss you, third nap, when you are gone. It is my chance to prepare bedtime bottles and pick up the house a little. 
  • 5:30/5:45 pm:  playtime - usually with Husband (he's home between 5:30 pm and 6 pm).  Ned is getting cranky by 6 pm - going from crazy belly laughs to shreeks.  Penny could go another hour but of course we keep them on the same schedule. 
  • 6:15/6:30 pm:  bath (every other night), PJs, bottles, book, sometimes song (if I remember) and bed.  
  • 7 pm:  Ned is conked out.  Penny is wide awake but doesn't protest.  Husband and Mommy, Esq. make dinner, catch up and watch TV.  
Such a fun simple life.  We would have taken walks outside during one of the play times if the weather had been nicer.  I always looked forward to the 2 days the nanny came (she came over at 10:30 am and left after they went down for their third nap) since after 5+ days of the same schedule you do go a little batty.  

I'm always surprised how easy it is to "play" with your kids.  I used to have such a hard time as a babysitter since I was never very maternal.  But I'm okay with singing the "Noble Duke of York" 5 times in a row.  We also try to have them play together - sharing a playmat, facing each other during tummy time and "rasslin" (I always stack Penny on Ned - maybe because he weighs 4 lbs more than her?).  Not that they know what they are doing but they do take toys away from each other. 



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Twin-economics

Today I spent $800 on formula at Babies R Us.  Yes, you read that correctly. I bought enough canisters of formula mix to last (conservatively) two months.  Our formula (Nestle Good Start) is cheapest at BRU ($1 or more than in every grocery store and wholesale club I've been to).  BRU was selling the 20% bonus size canister for 99 cents off the regular price of a normal size canister.  Swoop!  Swoop!  In goes 24 canisters plus 5 boxes of 25 8 ounce pre-made cans of the same formula since Husband and I decided we are too tired in the AM to mix formula for their first bottle.  Penny won't eat formula mixed the night before - dude, she's picky!  Maybe we'll start mixing again if the kids start sleeping past 6 am.  

Yikes - having twins is expensive!  Ned outgrew the 3-6 months clothes the other week.  And I discovered after buying a bunch of packages (and washing) of the Gerber onsies that they run VERY SMALL - they barely fit even though they say size 6-9 months.  [Drat - just remembered I wanted to buy some Carter onsies at BRU (which run truer to size/slightly large) - this will teach me to shop without a shopping list.]

All these costs creep up on you.  I was impressing Husband with my formula and baby food price comparison and knowledge.  That portion of my brain is sure to be gone once I return to work so he's enjoying my thriftiness while he can.  He also better appreciate how much money I saved us by breastfeeding so much the first four months.  Of course if you add in the breastfeeding clothes, storage and pumping materials...okay, that's pricey too. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Involuntary Baby Talk

I talk to the kids in a normal voice but we do lots of silly talking (questions, one-sided conversations) and kisses. I found myself talking and giving little kid kisses to Husband on the couch this weekend when we watched TV. Blah! I'm hoping that when I get back to work my constant kid centered brain will realign a little bit.

Here is an example of kid play time with Mommy, Esq. I try to "steal" their honey (hiding in their necks). I think the kids are so different but they totally laugh the same.


This weekend...

Grammie, Bumpa and Uncle Andrew came by for a visit.



Husband got in some time with his "Mini-Me".



Helen (aka, Auntie Honey) also came by for a weekend visit.



The kids wore hats knitted by Julie (Georgie's Mom) for a walk OUTSIDE! It was warm but the sidewalks are a mess and even The Bob Stroller had problems so we will have to wait for more melting before we can go on regular walks.





The kids had a Board Meeting and some Tummy Time.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Factory Direct Settings

My sister Stacey has been annoyed that I don't post as often as I used to. One reason I haven't been posting is that I'm somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of returning to work (although excited too) and especially by the amount of items on my To Do List. I'm also not feeling too inspired to post - I'm sure you are all sick of reading about sleeping and scheduling of two infants as I am of obsessing about it. New obsession is wondering if Penny may have sleep apnea but that is for another post.

Yesterday I had a friend over for a playdate with her daughter and we were discussing baby advice books. She is annoyed that she read Dr. Sears and tried his attachment parenting and wished she picked up Weissbluth earlier. But despite her efforts her daughter Georgie won't adhere to Weissbluth when it comes to napping and sleeping at night. She speculates that all kids have some "factory direct settings" that no amount of parenting books will change.

On some level I guess I agree - Ned is just a more cuddly baby than Penny. Penny is showing signs of independence that Ned doesn't bother with so long as his needs are met (which he demands in a very loud voice (whining or crying)). But I also worked super-super hard at sleep training and do it every day.* I always think of myself as "hard-ass" with the kids about sleep and routines and Husband backs me and encourages me to be that way (let a kid cry if necessary). Is my friend convincing herself that Georgie gets wound up if she lets her cry (such that a nap isn't possible) because she can't take the crying (which I agree is really, really hard - especially in a 1 bedroom apartment)? Or is Georgie really that way - that no amount of crying will make a difference?

When do you try to teach your kids - a "learned" response verses a personality trait you can't control? Do our kids really have "factory direct settings"?

*Example: Just today Ned tried to get up after 45 mins of his AM nap but I let him cry (on and off) for about 25 mins until he finally fell asleep (and was in his crib for almost 2 hrs total by the time he really woke up). And Penny woke up at 5 am and didn't go back to sleep until 5:45 am (until 6:30 am when I woke her for her meds - Mommy, Esq. never got back to sleep).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sick of Snow

It snowed yesterday. Again. Our walkway is a permanent sheet of ice and our driveway isn't much better. This winter has been the worst one in my recent memory - I think we haven't seen the grass (brown though it may be) since Thanksgiving. Ned and Penny don't seem to mind being cooped up inside. Nanny came up with a new activity for the kids - watching the snow. Gave them a chance to digest their bottles while admiring the white fluff from a warm place.





A few kid updates that you might enjoy: We took Penny for a 5 month weigh in last week and she came in just over 12 lbs (just under 10%). She is growing but we are still having problems getting her to eat even though we upped the dosage on her medicine (Prilosec). I have another call into the doctor but we keep missing each other (the only time I was unavailable yesterday was when I took a shower. Guess when she called?). I snuck Ned onto the scale (fully dressed) and he weighed in at 16 lbs!! The difference between the two of them is staggering as these photos shows you. We can't fit him in 3-6 month clothing anymore so I've washed and put away the 6-9 month clothing in their drawers (folded by lovely Nanny).





Ned is really learning how to use the exersaucers and Penny is SO CLOSE to rolling over. Ned hasn't rolled over again since that one time. They are both putting weight on their feet when you hold them up. Penny has also become a chatterbox. It make take 40 mins to get her to eat 4 ounces but she is pretty happy once they are in her - blowing raspberries and sqwaking. They both love the solid foods - avocado was a bit hit this weekend and they think squash is the next best thing to sweet potato. Despite all my desires to make my own baby food I've been buying the Gerber Organics. We go through so much of it and frankly it is easier. I will finish out the frozen peas, green beans and keep making sweet potato and mashing avocados.







Penny got her last bottle of breastmilk right around her fifth month birthday and I stopped breastfeeding Ned for his morning feeding a few days later. I was pumping next to nothing at night and Ned needed 4+ ounces after I BF him so it was easy to let it go. I'm surprised how okay with it I feel. They got mostly breastmilk (at least half their feedings) for almost 4 months and some for another month after that. I have noticed that Ned is much more of a snugly baby and I don't know if it is because I breastfed him. Penny has always been much stiffer when you hold her and she doesn't curl into you - could also be her reflux. And of course right after I stopped the breastfeeding the kids picked up colds - from me!

I also switched to powder formula to save money. We go through so much of it! I found the Dr. Brown's pitcher really helps for mixing it without lumps or lots of bubbles. It was a disaster the first time I tried to just shake the powder with water in the bottle! The only problem is that I can only mix about 32 ounces at a time so we have to mix a couple of times a day.

Still lots to do on my To Do List before I get back to work. One big item is clothes - all the suits I was wearing before I got pregnant are 1 size too big so I may try to get them all tailored and taken in. Weird thing is I feel heavier (especially in the middle, thanks, my little tykes for the "twin skin") but I seem to be a size smaller than pre-pregnancy. Wish I had been able to lose a little more weight before I went back to work but maybe I'll be snacking less without playdates! I think when the Nanny comes next time I'm going to do a closet/drawer purge and make a list of what I need to buy. I packed up all my breastfeeding clothing for my sisters to look through. I love getting rid of stuff - not that you'd know it if you visited my house.

Job Insecurity

I haven't wanted to blog too close in time to various Big Firm events because then it would be pretty easy for everyone to figure out what Big Firm I worked at. Needless to say, however, my Big Firm is effected like many others out there. We've had layoffs. As far as I'm aware only staff, no attorneys were laid off but attorneys have been let go for performance reasons more quickly than in past years.

A lot of people in my "class" have stuck around - not necessarily because they think they'll make partner but we've been busy and the money (especially bonuses) has been good so no real reason to seek out a new job. Now I wonder if the performance review I'll have next December will be a time for them to let senior associates go who are not close enough to partner material.

I'm not sure really what my situation is. I'm in a smaller department but there aren't a lot of senior associates so I think they'd keep me around until I'm closer to partnership timing. Or they could think of me (hopefully) as partner material. The advice I received at my recent review was to start acting like a partner. But honestly I don't often feel like I have the skill set to not have a partner review aspects of the contracts I draft/comment on - especially in large LBO deals where what is "market" is always evolving. I know I'll get there some day but I'd be okay with another couple of years of supervision as I specialize.

Husband and I recognize that unlike years past I can expect little to no bonus this year even if I could make our minimum billable hours (given that I was on unpaid leave). Firms have been hinting that associates should be happy to have jobs. I agree. I am very, very happy I have a job especially since I like what I do even though the hours suck. The other night I was thinking about how the worst part of my job is how nothing gets started until 3 pm or later. You always have work to do in the AM, but the real crunch is always afternoon to evening which is why I am not counting on being home for bedtime but rather trying to spend 2 hours in the AM with my kids before I head off to work.

Many of my lawyer-mom friends who I've been having playdates with are coming back "part-time" (which is 40 hrs a week). I am okay with coming back full-time. One reason is that it could continue to be slow for another quarter or two. I also think that I need to "prove" that I'm back in the saddle and as dedicated as pre-kids. Based on what I've seen at the Firm you can only make partner if you put your work first. That is probably why it is usually men and not women who make partner - we women are less likely to have someone at home taking care of the house and kids full-time. I don't know yet how I'm going to feel when I miss bedtime after bedtime and the first time I have to work over a weekend. But I told myself that I would give my career a chance and that is what I'm going to do.