Monday, August 31, 2009

We Love You, Grandpa

My paternal grandfather passed away Sunday night. As my sister Stacey already wrote, we were lucky to live close to both sets of grandparents. Grandpa survived the loss of his only daughter Donna to cancer - something no parent ever wants. We used to spend summers taking dips in their pool and in their summer home in Marion. He taught us how to fish and let us pull off his fake beard when he dressed up as Santa Claus every Christmas. Although he never went to college he provided for his family and all his went to college. Grandpa got the chance to meet his great-grandkids this Christmas.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Grinch Who Stole Their Birthday

I'm going to tell you a badly kept secret - we didn't buy our kids any birthday presents. Evite, backyard BBQ (which will move indoors thanks to Danny), no presents. I think that about sums up our approach to their birthday.

Grandparents (and great grandparents) were exempt from the rule because, well, they are grandparents and you can't stop them anyway.

My mom and dad sent the kids a climber at Nanny April's suggestions. The top part is a bit small for him to turn around easily but they both like it. Ned even helped his dad put it together. All their "baby" toys are now gone from the playroom - jumparoo, bouncy chairs, exersaucer. It certaintly heralded the era of mobility that has descended on the Esqs.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

12 Months

On Tuesday Ned and Penny celebrated the successful conclusion of the first year (of many) training Mommy, Esq. and Husband to be parents.



Dear Ned, You hate being "penned" in the playroom - all those toys just aren't enough for your need to roam. When you are tired you put your head down on the ground. You love reading books, clapping and banging toys together and creeping around the room. Scotia knows you are coming with your happy screeching. Crawling and pulling up seem to be enough for you for now so I'm not willing to predict when you'll be taking your first independent steps. We would prefer that you didn't knock your sister down or pull up in the bathtub. Everything is funny to you - it lights up our day.

Dear Penny, Two huge milestones this month - you learned to crawl and you weighed in over 15 lbs today (15lbs, 4 oz to be exact). We love the shrieks of joy you shout after dinner and the constant babbling. You have so much concentration and curiosity about the little details in objects. You love to hand us whatever you are playing with so we can join in the fun. Your dad and I keep remarking how grown up you look to us!

Love, Mommy, Esq.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blowing Out a Candle

Ned and Penny have no idea that today is their first birthday unless Penny's constant raspberries are practice for blowing out her candle at the barbecue we are hosting this weekend. Please forgive my not positing any pictures as last night was a late work night, I'll post their chair photo in the next day or two. Instead you can catch up on their birth story here (sorry, stupid-blog-host-who-shall-not-be-named (and minor stupidity on my part) resulted in the photos being deleted)).

I posted a Happy Birthday message to the kids on Facebook. Most friends said "Happy Birthday, Ned and Penny" but all my twin mom friends wrote individual birthday wishes for each kid. Laura C has blogged about singing Happy Birthday to her kids individually but I think it is okay to do just one song for both - as you an see from my comment to her post.

Happy Birthday, Esq. Tykes - it's been a year like no other and your dad and I love you very much.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Home Offices

Husband here...

Wife, Esq. is being unreasonable again.

She wants to hire a designer--or an organization consultant--or a junk hauler--or SOMETHING to fix up our home office.

Those of you who have been to our house probably know that our office is something of a pit. No way around that. But there are a few pretty good reasons for it:
  1. It's the natural home for all the papers and random crap that go with running a household.
  2. I spend a lot of time in there, and I'm a slob.
  3. Wife, Esq. works in there occasionally, and she sinks to the least common denominator level of cleanliness.
  4. It's where everything gets shoved when we're cleaning up the rest of the house--it's like a magnet for entropy.
Out of those, I think numbers 2 and 4 are most important. I'm not likely to suddenly become neat and organized after 30+ years of the opposite, just because some random gay guy redesigns the room--this isn't HGTV, where organizational paradigms are changed in half an hour. And we're ALWAYS going to need a place to dump the mess when company is coming over...and I don't know where else that would be.

Wife, on the other hand, thinks that a consultant can fix everything. (I AM a consultant, so of course I know better than that.)

I've tried to compromise. Knoll and Steelcase both have some pretty nice, flexible cube systems that we could set up in the office, and we'd both have our own separate spaces. I could junk mine up; she could have hers as pristine as the driven snow. Design it right, and she never even has to SEE my cube. All that for only $5,000 or so. I can even design it myself.

But no, she won't even talk about it, or what she wants from the space, or what she wants a designer to do. She just wants me to be perfectly tidy. Realistically, it's not going to happen. My college roommate (and subsequent best man at the wedding) once threatened me with a makeshift flamethrower: "Clean--or BURN!!!" Even then, I only made a show of cleaning. I don't know what she thinks a designer can do to change me, that she or my old friend/roommate can't with their threats.

So, gentle readers, what shall we do? Waste money on a consultant who tells me to file/shred things promptly? Spend money on upgrading our furniture so we have essentially two separate offices in one room? Move Wife, Esq.'s office to the basement where it can be as neat as she wants?

Mommy, Esq. here: Only fair our readers get a glimpse into what I've been stressing about. Here are some photos I sent a few organizational consultants and designers of our home office. With our work demands we have to share this space and as Husband mentioned - it's been sinking to the lowest common denominator. I think a designer will help us come up with furniture and storage solutions (including redoing the closet with its naked bulb and falling down doors) - I don't have a firm idea of what I want so I'd like some options/guidance. It takes a lot to maintain a happy home and I feel that organization and cleanliness are part of that process.

Manly Expectations

Check out my guest post at How Do You Do It and leave a comment there. I actually think Ned is quite manly -

He enjoys controlling the remote:

Getting his drink on:

Playing with cars:

And sometimes acts like a dog:

So what if he whines and complains - sounds like most men I know!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pick Me Up

All week I felt like today should be Friday. I'm annoyed it is not. So here is a little pick me up for everyone. The ballpit has become a favorite again - Penny sits inside or just on the outside and carefully selects and throws balls. The nanny told me that the other day Ned was crawling around the room fetching them and bringing them back.

I've been asked a few times why it seems like I post more photos of Ned than Penny. In part I feel like I spend so much time on this blog talking about Penny that I need to make it up to Ned. I also hate, hate all the photos of her with Duoderm. It is a constant reminder that we still haven't solved so many of her medical and feeding issues.

Drat, this was supposed to be uplifting!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yes, This Was Me (and Them)

I'm not normally a blogger who follows "days" - but with the hot, hot New England weather suffocating us I am reminded of last August. Last August I made my husband get us central air and I put myself on 2 weeks bedrest to ready the nursery.

So, in honor of "WayBack Wednesday" hosted by Cheryl here is a photo of me last August - just a week or so before the kids were born after we finally put together the nursery. Yes, the bottle of booze was Husband's idea.

I think this photo was posted here but I've never managed to put back in the 6 MONTHS of photos I accidentally deleted on my blog.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Beach Chair

Ned really likes the beach chair that his Nanny April gave him as an early birthday present. He got quite a bit of use out of it during our vacation.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Update: Struggle with the Juggle

Thank you for all your thoughts on my post last week about struggling with the juggle. Husband and I came up with a "compromise" of sorts.
  • The nanny will start every day at 8:30 am. I'm in charge of morning routine with Husband pitching in if he's around (but he usually needs to get ready for work and leave by 8:30 am).
  • Husband is in charge of all bedtimes when he is not traveling. I'm no longer going to try to make it home for bedtime since it requires sitting in traffic for an hour and quite a bit of stress of the "will I/can I" make it variety.
  • I'm going to try to work from home 1 day a week so I can do bedtime on that day (client demands permitting). Thank goodness my firm is not a "facetime" place. No set day on this though, just if I think I can swing it.
  • The nanny will stay until 9 pm 2 nights week - Wednesday and Thursday. Husband can travel overnight those 2 nights but will be home for bedtime Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Costly, but at least I'll have peace of mind and won't have to run around to find someone to cover bedtime. As much as I love her my mom cannot handle doing bedtime.

That's the plan for now. We'll see after a few weeks how it is working out.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Color Me Not Shocked

Unexpectedly on Tuesday Mass Eye and Ear had an extra spot for Penny to do her sleep study (we were slated for later in August). Since I took Penny to the GI that day - she didn't gain a single ounce in a month (still at 14lbs, 11.5 oz) - Husband was tagged with the overnight sleep study.

The result? Penny has sleep apnea. And...wait for it...her O2 desaturates when she is having an apnea event. Wikepedia says sleep apnea is when you have 5 or more episodes of apnea (10 second intervals between breaths) in an hour. She had an average of 28 per hour. To PROTECT HER BRAIN DEVELOPMENT (how f-ing scary is that?) we're going to keep her on O2 for now for sleeping. Too bad little chicky has figure out to flip out her nasal cannula during the night.

I scheduled an appointment for early September with the ENT to discuss the study - i.e., when are we going to yank those god damn adenoids. As one of my work friends asked - why the hell can't I just schedule a conference call to discuss. I'll bring Penny in and they'll weigh her and listen to her breathing. The ENT will ask me her history (again), look at her x-ray that shows giant adenoids, read the sleep study - all done after we get there of course and then have a 15 min conversation about what we should do which will then have to be scheduled.

The other interesting thing was that I got a call from BlueCross - a nurse who wanted to check in and see whether I wanted a case manager for "complex case management" - we both agreed that since all my doctors (thank you MGH!) are talking to each other it could wait.

The pulmonologist (who called with the study results) seemed excited and thinks an adenoidectomy will make a difference in her eating and O2 levels. Of course we have to repeat the sleep study once we do the adenoidectomy to confirm.

Also, Penny has now received 3 "stuffed" animals as treats from MGH/Mass Eye Ear. She might have quite a collection by the end of all this.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Struggle of the Juggle

My blog has been all about the kids the last few months and so little about Big Law and Working Mom issues.

Yesterday our nanny had to see her doctor unexpectedly for a follow up on a medical problem - at 1:30 pm in the afternoon. Husband is traveling. So in the midst of a meeting I had to figure out who was going to be with the kid so she could go. I'm texting my mom and my friend Helen on my blackberry to figure out who can come. Helen is a teacher and not back in school yet so she came over. Then I got stuck at work and I had to make sure my mom could come over for bedtime. Our nanny can do bedtime but I don't really want to pay time and a half for her to be there while they are sleeping.

It occurred to me - why am I the one who always does this? Husband wasn't at all involved in the process. He never has to figure out how to deal with bedtime issues when he's traveling or other appointments and emergencies that come up during such travel time.

The disconnect is that Husband can get home when he's not traveling but I can't get home when he is traveling. Even if our nanny puts the kids to bed he's never home later than 7 pm. My schedules is 100% unpredictable. Often I get on calls and clients need documents in the late afternoon. But I never know until late afternoon. Occasionally I can tell Husband - I'm flat out all week and won't be home.

I'm tired of organizing and juggling and "figuring out" how to make this work and I feel like I'm doing it as a single parent while working more than full time. My career has taken a back seat to Penny's medical issues and appointments (as it should of course) and yet Husband thinks he's been doing so much that his career is suffering.

We could pay someone do nighttime care when he's traveling but then every day I have to figure out by a time certain whether we need that person - and there are some days I really honestly don't know if I can leave until 5 pm or later. And then there is the $$.

Husband asked me last night - how do others do this? I told him that either one spouse stays home or the other has very, very regular hours. Our jobs don't fit that model - so we are at an impasse.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Moving Forward

This video started out because Ned kept laughing when his socks and pajamas didn't mix with trying to stand up on hardwood floors. But then Penny stole the show by confirming she really does have a brand new skill. She started practicing on vacation but this week it was undeniable. Enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vacation Teaser

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Returning Home After Vacation

What does an 11th month old do when he comes home after a week away from his toys?

Yes, they are all there, Ned, but thanks for double-checking.