Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pregnant Pauses

Tomorrow Husband and I go in for my "big" ultrasound - the one where they measure every body part and you can elect to find out the sex of your baby(ies). Heck, yeah we are finding out! Any guesses? Here are some possible indicators:

- Lots of dreams/nightmares. Nothing I can recall in particular but none involve children/little animals or anything like that.
- First trimester I felt like I was way more tired than last pregnancy.
- Terrible skin. Worse then when I was in high school. This was not a symptom when I carried the twins (see how I called them the twins, it's creeping in my vocabulary!).
- Hair continues to fall out - no shiny pretty hair for me (but I seem to recall it was only pretty in the third trimester last time). I read that girl babies "suck the beauty" out of you.
- No other symptoms other than dislike of chicken and foot cramps, the latter of which I had forgotten how much I suffered last time. I can still sleep on my stomach but am showing a ton (more on that below).
- We call the baby Spyder. I don't quite recall why that started but there you have it.

I also have to do a gestational diabetes test - if I pass this time I still have to do another in the third trimester. Fingers crossed that I am not inflicted this time because I optimistically threw away my monitor after Ned and Penny were born. Husband asked last night what this kid was going to be allergic to - I shuddered and said, this child had better eat well!

I will be posting a few kid pictures although 90+% of my photos in the last two months are terrible - even with getting a new camera for Christmas. I also have a post in mind about what I vow will be different after Spyder is born.

In the meantime let me related a funny work story:

Last week was my review. I meet with a member of our governing committee after they all get together to discuss the senior associates. I sit down in front of Partner X who is in his 50s with two college kids.

He says "Hello, how are you? It looks like you are expecting?"

WTF? I mean I know I'm showing some and I had to give up on regular pants about 3-4 weeks ago but really, do you say that to someone when it isn't obvious that they might give birth on your office floor?

Of course I said I was and after someone else made an unsolicted pregnancy comment said I decided I needed to tell my department head. He's out this week. I can just imagine all the whispers at our department lunch next week if I don't have a chance to tell him. I bet they wish they could institute a policy like the army on pregnancies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Worrying Over Words

I mentioned before that Ned and Penny are "behind" on language skills. A few readers asked me how I know if they are behind. It was actually something I had been thinking about and when we went to the kids' 15 month check up a couple of weeks ago the pediatrician agreed that most kids have a few words by this age. She and I agreed we wouldn't worry (yeah, right) until their 18 month appointment. For the record, the kids have said "nanny" but they stopped. They have no other words but Penny can sign "all done" and does so at the most hilarious moments (like when she's throwing a tantrum and doesn't want to being doing so).

Their friend Georgie has a few syllables but she literally tries to talk to you all the time - you can feel the "conversation" and I know that is lacking in my kids.

We talk to Ned and Penny ALL THE TIME. We ask them questions, sing songs, read stories. But for some reason neither kid does much more than grunt and say a few nonsensical syllables (and not consistent enough to consider it language). They don't even point with one finger - they use their whole hands. Penny seems to understand better - she can follow simple instructions. Ned never seems to be able to focus in on doing whatever you asked him to do (bring me that book, where is your sippy cup, etc.).

I can have Ned evaluated for Early Intervention but frankly I don't think it does much. I don't mind paying for Penny to see someone for her gross motor (especially since Ned gets to go to the weekly play group too) but I can't imagine that at this age EI can do too much to get them to talk. At double the cost it isn't worth it for something I don't think will truly benefit him.

Their EI playgroup will be with older kids starting in January and I'm enrolling them in a mixed age (0-5) music group too.

With Penny's gross motor she just needs to get bigger to develop those skills (as evidenced by crawling, using a sippy cup, etc. that she basically figured out on her own). Maybe the pediatrician is right and language will explode in the next month. But for now there is hand pointing and grunting and we just hope for the best.

I've been hiding from playdates as a result and basically avoiding all "mommy milestone" conversations around the office - avoiding as much "comparison" as I can.

Any other ideas? My dad joked that we should have them watch TV. But except for the occasional Mommy-is-completely-wiped-on-Sunday-evening TV isn't part of our routine.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I was feeling pretty good about my ability to take care of kids. Dinner and bedtime by myself with Wife in London? No biggie. I was pretty cocky about being better at changing diapers than most other dads. Figured that I could handle pretty much anything a baby could throw my way--or even two babies. (Those one-baby daddies are a bunch of pansies next to me.) I was the smooth, cool, unflappable Ninja Master of Dads.

I thought all that until last night.

That was the night when all my training and experience came up short. The night when I was just another helpless father. The night it all went wrong. The night I re-learned humility.

It was The Night When Penny Pooped in the Tub.

Thought I'd do a bubblebath...fun change of pace. Both kids playing, splashing happily. Done with Penny, starting to wash Ned. Suddenly, a horrible smell. Penny strangely still and quiet. Oh... Oh, no...


Yank both kids out of the tub. Ned still soapy, unrinsed. Penny suddenly dirty again. Both crawling around the bathroom floor getting things wet (and worse). Me, staring a the turd peeking out of the bubbles, trying to plan my next move. OK, there's the bucket we use to dump water on their heads. Scoop up the turd in that. Well, most of it.

Crap. Now I've got a bucket of water with a rapidly disintegrating Penny poop. What do I do with it? WHAT DO I DO?

I stand there trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. Crazy ideas go through my head. Strain out the turd somehow to throw it away. Toss the whole bucket in the yard. Kitchen garbage disposal, maybe? WHAT THE HELL DO I DO WITH THIS POOP BUCKET!?!??

Oh, right. There's a toilet right there. That'll work.

The rest of the incident was straightforward, trying to quickly clean the worst out of the tub and rewash the kids. But the damage to my confidence was done. I just froze up in the moment of crisis. Useless in the face of disaster.

I guess it turns out I'm just as helpless as the next dad. At least I was last night, The Night When Penny Pooped in the Tub.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Overcoming Writers Block

I've been terrible about posting the last couple of months. I could blame my job but I spend plenty of time vegging on the couch - without my laptop. Lack of photos has been a contributing factor. Ned and Penny 15 months aren't quite a photogenic as Ned and Penny 7 months (evidence of previous cuteness below).

In an attempt to overcome my writers block I will write about a few new kid "tricks".

Penny: She likes to use a spoon and a fork - technique is still evolving of course. Often she'll pick up some food, break off a small piece, put that part on the tray table and eat the rest. Not sure what she spots in there!

Ned: He still enjoys sitting and flipping through books and has learned to push buttons, turn knobs and climb on couches. He will spin around in a circle when he is happy.

Both kids: Jealousy and competition have starting to appear. Both want to be on top of the climber and whine about it but sometimes Penny will let Ned be up there and they will laugh at each other through the window openings. If Penny is in my lap (she has started climbing in all the time), then Ned will insist on coming over for a hug... and to push Penny out of the way. There seems to be more whining/grabbing toys, books, sippy cups out of the other kid's hands.

Any advice on how to handle the green-eyed monster?

Friday, December 4, 2009

WARNING: You Must Be Sitting Down to Read This Post

It's been hard not blogging about this but it is time to let you all in on my not very well-kept secret:

Due Date: June 4, 2010

Just one. I know I've spoken on How Do You Do It about having another (or two). But I really didn't expect it to happen so quickly given how long it took me to get pregnant with Ned and Penny. No fertility treatments, just plenty of relaxing nights (before work got busy) and wine. Bye, bye, vino...

For all my work friends please keep this on the down-low - I'm not planning on telling work until after New Year's. It will be hard to be the FOURTH woman in my department to announce an upcoming maternity leave - especially since my tykes will only be 21 months old when the new one arrives. But as one wise attorney told me - "I make every small decision every day focusing on my work so I'm not going to let work dictate the big decisions."

One funny Mom of Multiples item to reflect on - I've started referring to Ned and Penny as my "twin" pregnancy when normally I don't call them the "twins" - I guess it is a way to differentiate between the two pregnancies.

My friend Helen remarked - "You do realize that you are going to have three kids under 2 years old?" "Only for a couple of months," I replied. How's that for positive attitude?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Careful, Do You Want to Lose an Eye?

Monday was Nanny April's birthday and Penny helped April open her gift. "Helping" included poking April in the eye with the corner of a birthday card. Tuesday morning April (who has NEVER taken a sick day) called to say she had to go to the doctors. Diagnosis: Torn cornea. She has to go back to the doctor's on Thursday and is on pain meds, taped eye and can't drive.

So that leaves the Esqs scrambling a little. I stayed home yesterday missing a department meeting but work was otherwise slow so it was okay. Grammy offered to help but she has a million errands/appointments and is recovering from major surgery (did I mention my mom donated a KIDNEY to a friend a few weeks ago?) so she was only able to come for a couple of hours.

Today through Friday the kids are in my back-up daycare which means 45 mins of traffic (or more) each way, preparing bottles, packing bags, having to lug all there stuff (forgot Penny's medicine), pick them up for lunch since daycare doesn't provide more than snacks, and leaving work promptly at 5:30 pm. I don't know how everyone else does this every day! We are spoiled by having a nanny.

We also had to do a bit of research on our worker's compensation insurance. For now we'll cover co-pays (maybe take it out of Penny's 529 plan?) and give her paid sick time off. If it goes beyond 5 days though we have to notify the state. Penny will be giving April a "sorry" card - with the corners cut off.

I'm also trying to take Saturday through Tuesday off, since Husband and I are going away for TWO NIGHTS! WOOT! And yes, I had to specify on my availability that I wasn't available on Saturday or Sunday - weekends are NOT sacred in my profession. I was going to take the whole week but as is always true if I don't have plane tickets I end up working.

Finally, kid update: I took them for their 15 month checkup yesterday. By myself! First time I've done anything with both of them alone out of the house in a long time. Ned weighs in at 22 lbs, 6 oz (25%), 31 inches (25%) tall and 18 inch head (25%). It always makes me laugh when people think he's "so big" - he is ... compared to Penny. She is 17 lbs, 5 oz, 29 inches tall and 17.25 inch head; no percentages of course. We delayed the MMR and varicella vaccines on my personal theory that if they are recommended for kids that are a minimum of 12 months old shouldn't said child weigh as much as a 12 month old? Penny weighs about the average of a 6-7 month old.

Some guilt tripping on not brushing their teeth every night (we hit about 60%) and starting to use utensils. Ned is behind on language/comprehension skills so we are going to keep an eye on it for 3 more months and then call EI if he hasn't made some good progress.

Pictures to come soon, I promise!