Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Adoption Video...only seventeen months later :)

I've been thinking a lot lately about the concept of 'before' and 'after.'

Especially when dealing with bad news.

I will never forget the few moments before I got the call about my Dad suffering his stroke. I was happily packing up my stuff and getting ready to walk out the door to go to work. DH was walking up the street returning from a run.

The phone rang and it was my sister. We often talked on our respective drives into work so I hastily grabbed it and said--without saying hello--"I'm not in the car yet I'll call you right back."

No, she managed to say before I hung up.

Dad had a stroke.

And then--after.

That was the dividing line between his life and our life before and after. Nothing was the same after and it was never, ever better, only worse, slowly, slowly worse. And now he is gone.

I think about those dividing lines so often that I create them in my imagination. Example: the other day I had just finished speaking with my sister on the phone and it was only about an hour later and she was calling again. I was just stepping into the shower so I didn't answer. But the entire shower I wondered if she was calling over and over and I couldn't hear and what it if was another one of those calls diving time into before and after?

(note: she just wanted to ask me about something related to Target. Whew.)

Most of the time the big traumas of our lives are sudden and there is a before and after.

But not with infertility (in most cases).

Infertility chips away at you slowly, until you are just a pile of wood chips.
And by you, I mean me.

Somehow I found myself flying halfway across the country, twice, spending obscene amounts of money. Somehow I found myself going through five full in vitro cycles when I swore I would never even do one. Somehow I found myself lying in a dark room full of needles in my ears and scalp and stomach and toes. Somehow I found myself choking down disgusting herbs. Somehow I found myself obsessively researching and reading and researching and reading and emailing doctors and wanting to try different crazy protocols and injecting and injecting and injecting hormones hormones hormones into my sad, tired belly.


Because I could not see the forest for the trees.

Oh the forest--becoming a mother!--she was gone to me. All I could see were those damned trees.

I speak for myself only here, but there is a lot of shame in all that I did.

I wanted to be a mother.
There are many ways to become a mother.
None are necessarily easy, and no doubt none are better than any other.
Because all that matters in the end--all that ever, ever, ever should matter--is the love you can give to a child.

My forest, my beautiful forest, you were right there the whole time weren't you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

You Ask? I Deliver.

Photos? Did someone say photos, please?
Here you go.
In their traditional Ethiopian outfits.
My Ethiopian beauty!
Brotherly and sisterly love...
Sorry to interrupt the cuteness with sweat, but here I am completing loop one.
I have a weird expression, but what can you do?

And finishing the 31 miles with DH. See the look of relief on our faces?
And yes, I am in different clothes. I was THAT sweaty that I required an outfit change to avoid...
The glamour of long-distance running in the humidity.

And to finish, fall cakeballs.
Carrot cake.
Cream cheese frosting.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'm Here.

I am alive.
I am around.
I am trying to comment and read and follow when I can. I don't know if anyone is still around this space but I promised to never just disappear into the ether so here I am.

I am still sad. While trying to straighten up a neverending pile of papers that looked innocuous enough I came across the notes I had made for the obituary I wrote for my Dad and it nearly took me to my knees.

I ran my 50K race this past weekend. I placed 10th out of 38 females. I wore my Dad's hat pre-race but it was too too hot and humid to wear it while running. I hurt--miles 26-30 were excruciating and no matter how much I wanted to run effortlessly in honor of my father my quadriceps didn't necessarily see things the same way. I sobbed for a minute when I saw the finish line and I could picture my Dad there, cheering for me. God he wanted me to be a runner so much and I know he would have been thrilled to see me run 31 miles.

My Mom met me at the finish line and wrapped me in a towel, probably the same thing she used to do for my Dad when he crossed all of his finish lines. She's doing OK, but I worry about her.

My children are beautiful, but you didn't need me to tell you that. I can't take credit for their beauty so I am allowed to brag incessantly, right? They are almost two years old and I can't keep up with their language and growth. It is an amazing thing to witness.

I have had so many complex emotions lately...I guess we all do...I'm not claiming or pretending to be different from anyone else. I just don't always know how to sort them out. Some days I hurt so much for all the hurt in the world it threatens to take me right under. When does it end? Other days I just go about my day complaining about my ridiculous first world problems and then buy a new chevron striped blanket at Target.

I guess all I can do is shake my head and wonder how the hell I got so, so lucky.

How are you doing?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Grief...It's What's for Dinner

I know the blog post title might sound tacky, but I don't emotions are all over the place.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your kind words on my last post. Thank you.

I am doing OK.

Mostly I have been doing better than OK, bolstered by the knowledge that my Dad is free from the constraints of his mind and body.

I held his hand while he took his last breath.

I never imagined I could feel so honored while doing so.

But the grief, it hits in unexpected places.

Today in church, I noticed ahead of time that the last hymn to be sung was the same one sung at my Dad's funeral. I was prepared. I was ready.

Until I wasn't.

Minutes before the song was to be sung, I found myself whispering desperately to DH that I had to get out, to escape, because I just couldn't hear it.

I stumbled down the aisle, tears streaming down my face, and then sobbed in the bathroom, where the sound was piped in.

When I got a birthday card from my Mom, well, it was the first one that said "Love Mom" and there was nothing from Dad. He always wrote in my cards and I cherished his words (still have all the cards!), and the first year after the stroke he dictated to Mom what he couldn't physically write, but his words were 100% him. The last two years my Mom signed his name when he could no longer contribute anything.

"Love Mom" was all she could write this year.

I miss him.
And yes, I am so extremely grateful to still have my mother in my life.

I spent three years trying to forget my Dad as a physically active man who loved to talk finance, religion, and do crossword puzzles for hours (the hard ones, sometimes in ink). It was too hard to remember that Dad while adjusting to the new post-stroke Dad.

But now, now those memories are pouring in, and they are happy-sad. I guess that's what all the memories of those who have passed are--happy sad.

At any rate, we're all surviving. I'm another year older and hey, no big whoop, right?

I just wanted to check in.

I have so many emotions swirling around about genetics that are coming from a place I thought was long since gone, but losing your father will do that to you. It has nothing to do with my beautiful babies who couldn't be more perfect in my eyes, but I'm still sad to know my Dad isn't carrying forward in my family in a genetic way. It's silly, but it's still there. Sigh. And I'm just gutted with grief over what they've lost in terms of their genetic past. Gutted.

So yes, I'm running. Long meditative runs. They aren't any easier, but in that space I can talk to my Dad, process some of these emotions, and get my body ready for my upcoming race.

Thank you again, sorry for the all over the place post. My next one will be about baking, and kiddos, and happy and light stuff. It has to be.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

He is gone from my sight.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last tribute to my Dad as a runner. It means a lot.

I got a call yesterday morning at work that my Dad was not doing well.

I scrambled around packing, securing child care, finishing up at work as best I could through a teary haze and started the long drive to my hometown.

When I got there I laid my head on his chest to hear that runner's heart again. I told him how much I loved him and thanked him for everything he did for me.

My Dad took his last breath only minutes after my sister and I got there.

Goodbye sweet Dad. Thank you for everything. I'm so sorry my children will not know their Pumpa.

Thank you for waiting until we could get there to say goodbye.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Dad, the runner.

I've been asked a few times lately about my semi-sudden interest in running, particularly long distance running.

The thing is, I don't really remember a time when I didn't run in some form or fashion. I've been running fairly regularly since I was a kid, pre-teen, teenager, young adult, adult, to now, middle aged adult. Sometimes I would pepper my exercise regimen with other workouts--who can forget step aerobics, the Stairmaster, Tae-bo, impact kickboxing, and I must admit--I actually had one of those slide things to mimic speed skating. Whoa boy. And I've mountain biked, hiked, roller bladed, ran stairs, and even tried swimming.

But running has been the constant. After all, I grew up around a running father.

Have I ever really enjoyed running?

Not really. I ran cross country in the hopes that I would make my Dad happy.

He was pleased, as pleased as he showed me in those days. He came to all my practices because he had to drive me there. He became the self-appointed assistant coach which embarrassed me to no end. I wasn't very good as speed has not ever been my gift. So who knows if I ended up embarrassing him as much as he was embarrassing me. I wish I could ask him.

This past weekend I was in my hometown for the dreaded reunion--dreaded only in the sense that it marked time in a very real way. It was actually lovely to see so many of my friends, all of us twenty years older.

While in my hometown I drove around familiar spaces and thought about all the running I did on some of those streets. Runs with one of my best running buddies Phoebe in high school--and after meandering around her neighborhood streets for an hour or so we'd get in her little red VW Bug and drive the route to see our mileage. No RunKeeper or Garmin's back then. I was astonished to drive on the hilly feeder roads that hardly have a shoulder as I recalled running a six mile loop on them as a youth...I have to think my parents didn't really know I was out there doing that and I am frankly amazed I wasn't mowed down by a car.

That was a damn hard route, run in the midst of my eating-and-exercise disordered haze.

I ran in college with the hubs, again, strictly as part of a way to burn calories and hope to get thinner and thinner.

Running is just what I knew. Everyone is supposed to exercise. Running is good exercise. Ergo, I ran.

My Dad started running in 1978. He also started writing in running journals. Clear as a bell in my mind's eye I can see him standing at our kitchen bar, leaning over his running journal, recording his distance and time, and little anecdotes about the run.

"You'll want to read these one day after I'm gone."

Sure Dad, we'd say, and roll our eyes. I could never imagine wanting to read about his runs one day.

Just as clearly I can see him sitting on our back porch in a lawn chair, sweat pooling underneath him, leaning forward, shirtless, tanned, sweatband around his head and maybe on his wrists, as he cooled off from his midday runs. In Texas. In the summer. He loved running in the heat, the hotter the better.

"Walk on my back," he'd say when we were small. My Dad had had several back surgeries and was actually told he'd never run again after the fact but proved everyone wrong, ad nauseum. We'd walk up and down his back to help work out the kinks. I myself have only recently discovered the glorious feeling of little tiny feet under the weight of a thirty-pound body walking up and down my back when it's sore.

I have my Dad's running journals now. From 1978 to 2000 he wrote an entry nearly every single day. And I'm reading through them, and loving and cherishing every single word.

Although he is not gone, his running self is gone. That body has left us. Most of that mind has left us. And so his words are as beautiful as they are mundane, because I have this sense of him. Of how he loved running. Of how important it was to him, to go out and feel the pavement under his feet, to feel the sweat pour off his body, to feel his strong heart beating harder and faster.

It made him feel alive.

I'm sorry I didn't start enjoying running until so recently. Now I would love to talk to him more about it. To tell him that I get it, this addiction he had. That we're not running away from anything but running towards everything. Towards peace. Towards health. Towards happiness. And that running long distances feels good and it has nothing to do with calories burned or pounds shed.

This weekend when I saw him I told him some of this. It doesn't matter what he understands. I told him I am reading his journals and loving every word of them. I told him I have his old running t-shirts, and his marathon medals, and the wool hat he wore when he crossed his first marathon finish line in a winter race. Maybe I'll wear it when I run the 50K I plan on running in the cold this November.

I rubbed his leg, and felt the muscle that has withered and faded so much he is mostly bones.

I heard his heart beat, still slow and strong--a runner's heart. He'll always have a runner's heart.

I showed his picture to Phoebe, my running buddy, who only knew my Dad as a strong runner. She teared up and squeezed my hand, so sorry to see the way he has slipped into this weakened state.

And I went running. Through the trails near the land where he grew up as a kid. I saw the sunlight shining through the trees and I felt happy. I had the hubs take a quick picture so I could try to hold onto the feeling.

Here is a shot of one of his earliest journals, from 1978. I focused in on the words "I am addicted to running" which was written at the end of a week he was injured and couldn't run and frankly felt miserable.

I get it Dad.
Thanks for teaching me about running.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The post I have needed to write...

Warning: this post is very sad, about my dog. That is all I can say.

It has been a little over a year since we brought our babies home from Ethiopia.
And so it has been a little over a year since we said goodbye to our original boy, our dog Pablo.

Pablo was ill when we left. Two years prior he had been given only months to live but miraculously had hung on and remained fairly healthy.

We even left our dear pet sitter and vet instructions on what to do should he take a turn for the worse while we were on the other side of the world. This is the same lovely pet sitter who emailed us photos twice daily of our sweet Pabbies while we were on our long CCRM vacations. She was ecstatic that we were finally going to become parents when we left for Ethiopia.

We were not prepared for what we found when we came home.

Pabbies. Emaciated. Sick. Nearly gone, but hanging on.

We saw him right after crossing the threshold of our new lives with our babies in our arms. After laying our babies down for their first night in their new beautiful nursery we just held him and sobbed. We knew what we had to do.

I decided it needed to be me. The next day, still sleep deprived and shaky and terrified and overwhelmed and elated at being home, I called our vet. They booked us--me and Pabbies--into the last appointment of the day so we could have some privacy.

Somehow I left the mister with the two babies, who were still feeding nearly constantly, who were crying quite at bit at their new unfamiliar surroundings, ripped apart from every single thing they had ever known, and put Pabs in the car with me. I took a bunch of his favorite treats and sobbed on the twenty five minute ride to the vet, feeding him treats and petting him the whole way.

When I got there I was a basket case. I could barely take him out of the car.

And things only got worse.

They couldn't get a vein. They couldn't start an IV. He was crying, howling in pain.

All those treats I thought he was happily gobbling up on the way there were just sitting in his mouth. He was too weak and sick to swallow.

I had done nothing to ease his pain.

The vet had to make a decision to inject him in the stomach.

It was horrific. I could barely stand to hold him, to have me see my face associated with this horrible pain we were causing him, all while trying to end his life in a pain free way.

The vet was young and inexperienced and not our usual vet. She was crying too. The tech was crying. I was shaking and sobbing.

Pabs did not go quickly.
He did not go peacefully.
Every single thing that could have gone wrong did.
And I held his sweet body until he took his last breath.

We buried him with his favorite toys under a tree in our yard, and I look at that spot nearly every single day and wish I could have done more for his last moments in this life. I have never--will never--forgive myself for failing him in his final moments.

Oh Sweet Pabs. It's been just over a year since you were gone. You waited until your brother and sister got here and then you asked us, with those beautiful but old and sick eyes, to take you out of your misery.

I will never forget.

And it is shaping the way I think of many things which I will have to write about here soon...about the way we treat animals in this world.

But I have needed to write this for a long time, to get it off my heart. Thank you, for letting me share it here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bullets (I know...) but packed with stuff....

It's not really true that I only have time for a bullet point post.

However, it is the most efficient way of articulating a few of the things swirling around in my brain or documenting some of the things we've been up to. Every time I think I will just stop blogging altogether I remember that aside from all the great things I love about blogging this will at least serve as little snapshots in time of our lives.

Here goes, in no particular order:

  • I've been baking/cooking/trying new recipes plus cooking some old favorites which I had forgotten about. All of this brings me great pleasure, I only wished I weren't so rushed when doing it (I still cook ahead for the following week so evenings run a little smoother). Some items include: avacado nutella muffins (yes, yes, and YES), Indian samosa pie, homemade vegetable pot pie (not really a summer food but it still hit the spot), Bakerella's key lime layer cake, quinoa broccoli casserole, Mexican vegan eggrolls, chocolate mint brownies, and these little peanut butter pretzel chocolatey things that just made my heart go pitter-patter.
  • I am running more than ever.
  • I am severely anemic. Hmph. Trying to get to the bottom of this currently and it involves more testing, which is annoying. I suspect my useless uterus is the culprit but am not allowed an ablation because of my higher cancer risk given my sordid uterine history. Hopefully I will know more in the next few weeks but I'd really like to avoid surgery. 
  • I am contemplating running an ultra marathon. On trails in my hometown. My Dad ran a shortened version of it fifteen years ago with my DH so that one feels like a good one to try.
  • We keep talking about moving to Ethiopia for a year or two. Seriously.
  • Of course we also still want to move to NYC--Brooklyn?--but Ethiopia is in our hearts.
  • But yet we both love our jobs. OK DH might not love his but I seriously love mine. Love it. I feel so lucky to work there, with incredible colleagues. One of my sweetest and most favorite coworkers asked me the other day how I felt the parttime thing was working out. I immediately said "Perfect. On Sunday night I am so ready to be back at work and on Wednesday afternoon after I close my last chart I am so ready to be home again." I know how lucky I am, and I think the tod-bots benefit tremendously from this balance. I think they'd be sick of me seven days in a row, week in and week out :)
  • I am trying/hoping to write an article to be published in a medical journal about this incredibly complex patient I have been seeing. The thing is, none of us can figure out what genetic issue he is plaqued with...and I've got the top lipid genetics guys working on it. I never thought I'd just pick up the phone and start calling journal authors to get help but that's what I did and now I've got several intrigued brilliant minds trying to help this guy out. All I'll say here is he's a skinny young guy with a total cholesterol over 700 and it was coming out in his skin. It's hard to write an article when so far all you can say is "dude, we really don't know what's wrong with you."
  • I am hoping my running will improve when my anemia improves but alas the doctor told me yesterday that a whole month's worth of iron therapy will be gone with one measly AF. Another doctor told me I need iron infusions but I seriously do not have time for that.
  • I have been contemplating going vegan. I am happily vegetarian but feel a strong pull to go to the next level. I have a whole post in my head about this and might just write it out one day, but it will be one of those that will likely offend a whole host of folks so maybe it's better to keep it in my head? At the very least we are going to start buying our dairy locally from a cruelty free dairy farm. And yes, I know chocolate is not vegan. And I know vegan baking is tough.
  • I am so happy to be raising vegetarian kids. So happy. We do allow them to eat some of the soy meat substitutes (yes, I know these would be out the window with veganism) and I need to quit saying things like "here is your chicken!" when at the same time I am telling them we do not believe in eating animals.
  • The toddlers are thriving. They are talking up a storm--a few two or three word sentences every now and again. Our son is especially interested in learning his letters right now. I get what people meant when they said this was a super fun age. The learning explosion is crazy to witness.
  • I am now running in minimus type shoes. I don't think I can go Luna Sandals or Vibram Five Fingers only, but I do feel like this is a much, much better way to run. I am really trying to work on technique, too, but some days it's just enough to get out there and cover some miles.
  • Yes, I still get up at 3:45 am to go running. I just keep saying my day is shifted. I'm in bed by 8:45 at the latest but it works for now so why change?
  • I am still drinking Diet Coke. Maybe if someone told me an animal was harmed during the production of my chemically syrup I could give it up no problemo....?
  • My Dad is the same overall but sometimes takes pretty bad turns, and I think "this is it." My mom is suffering the most, I think. It's hard to know what will happen next.  
  • My twentieth high school reunion is next month. Ugh is all that comes to mind.
I feel simultaneously old and young at the same time. Better/more running makes me feel young but my approaching twentieth high school reunion makes me feel O-L-D. Having toddlers makes me feel young and old at the same damn time...young because they are so delightful and it is so much fun to delight in their happiness but old because my God do they demand a lot of energy.


What have you been up to?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

One year home.

I cannot believe I am typing those words as a post heading.
But it's true. One year ago today, we landed in the United States, after a 16 hour flight that is still traumatizing to think about, but at least I'm maturing to know that it was far more traumatizing for my babies than it ever could be for me. A good friend asked me if we could laugh about the flight yet and I have to admit...not yet. Not quite.

One year ago we came home, as a family of four. Presto magic we went from two to four. Of course I kid using the term 'presto magic'--you all know it wasn't like that at all. And you will never hear me say (see me write?) the words "gotcha day" because those make my stomach turn.

But here we are.

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure a year in a life?

Of course, as a Rent lover this song resonates with me on multiple levels.
And yes, we could measure it in sunsets, and midnights, in laughter and in strife.

We could also measure it in diapers (hey that's actually in the B lyrics!), and sweet little slobbery kisses, in sleep deprived nights and days, in tantrums, in high chair meals (it seems we are forever getting in and out of high chairs!), and Brown Bear, Brown Bear readings.

The days can be long, but the year has been short but I am trying--always trying!-- to measure my life in love.

While 'Seasons of Love' is probably the most popular song from the play, my favorite is 'Without You, Finale'.

These words have been in my head since the first time I heard them.

There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret or
Life is yours to miss

There's only now
There's only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path
No other way

No day but today.

And today, is one year home.

But because I don't ever like ending all drama-esque, I'm going to publish a photo that is sure to make you smile. I don't think I ever put it in the blog before, and if I did, forgive me for the re-share. This photo was taken after we'd been home about three days. We were out walking the babies because most of the time we didn't know what to do with them and strollering was one of our many ways to 'change the environment' when said babies started getting cranky. We were both so tired we were literally stumbling.

Oh bless their hearts. They didn't know what they were getting themselves into when they got us as their second parents, did they?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What we've been up to lately, mostly in photos again...

OK it's been so long since I've blogged I don't recognize the new posting template/format. Whoops.

Thanks for the encouraging words on the last post. I do enjoy writing but I'm finding that--while I write some great posts in my head (I mean, everything sounds great in your own brain, right?) by the time I get a few seconds to spare I've completely forgotten what I wanted to write. So today I will do best to recap the past few weeks with pictures and some brief descriptions.

We took a trip to my hometown and went to a duck park I frequented as a kid. The ducks were a hit. No one fell in (like I did once when I was little--totally traumatizing!).

I baked!
OK I didn't actually bake, as these are no bake. They are from Bakerella (naturally) and they are chocolate chip cookie dough bites, dipped to look like cookies. It's edible dough that is safe and super tasty. Yum.

We had a little staycation. Truly. My sister kept my babies for two nights. TWO NIGHTS. They slept away from home for the first time. They did great. We did great. We ran, we ate, we went to the candy store where I got chocolate covered cherry sours!! we watched Breaking Bad in marathon format, we went to the pool and the hot tub. was very strange being in our house without them here, but it was also mighty nice :)

OK this was the sampler fake dessert tray, I really didn't eat this much. Close though. Hence all the running.

We are so lucky to have this pool/spa less than half a mile from our house. We debated joining for a while but once we did we haven't regretted it. We even went on the water slide sans kiddos! Ha.

The lake is low but what can you do? The view is still quite nice.

Of course when we got home we had to have some dance party time. Now, I post this because I think my daughter is adorable dancing in her sun hat. Nevermind me, freakishly dancing as well. And nevermind my son who started crying (you can't see him, but you can surely hear him!)

And to anonymous--YES! I did receive a Diet Coke t-shirt in the mail. The funny thing is, I had bought one sort of similar several months before as a part of a Diet Coke promotion at Target and when I got the new one in the mail I thought "How did they know I'd already worn the other one out." Ha. So yes, I wear it and thank you.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Conflicted...but keeping my promise.

I'm conflicted...again...about this blog. What to do? I'm not sure who is still reading, I'm not sure if the story has come to its natural end (and..............scene.) I mean, I know that the story continues but really? Maybe I am done sharing. I know we are in the midst of some complicated stuff though.

But I like to keep my promises and at the end of my last angst ridden post I did say the next blog post would be full of pictures and so without further ramblings...I give you the past few weeks in photos, with little captions, too, because I can't really ever just shut.up.
Cupcake bites...
My little piece of heaven-turnaround point on a long trail run (I'm uber sweaty!)
Second piece of heaven...lounging by the river at a friend's river house. Ahhhhhh.....
A trip back in time...recently acquired pic of the night at the airport...after twenty-four hours of travel and very little sleep....
Those same little babies (much bigger!) goofing off in their cribs.

At the pool--I made them wear ridiculously bulky swimsuits with flotation devices sewn in....
Lounging by the pool sans bulky swimsuits....!

At the park in the fun!
Coloring with Dad in the playroom!
Dogpiling Dad on the floor--a common activity around here :)

And finally....what powers me along (I know it's a weird pic and it looks like I'm more into the goldfish but I promise you, I am not).

Do you see the giant Diet Coke? I am willing it into my mouth...and if anyone knows how to get this display from Target I want it.

And on that note, peeps, I am out.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Split Self...Again.

I have so many half written posts.
So many.

I finally figured out why.

I feel like I am straddling two worlds right now, that I've split into two selves again. (note: not in a literal sense, no worries that I'm becoming Sybill).

World one: the one I posted about last time. I'm keeping it together. I'm baking again. I'm running. I'm parenting. I'm lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky. I have two amazing toddlers who challenge me and light up my world in new ways each and every day. I have Mother's Day to celebrate as a mother, not a 'wanting to be a mother' not a 'kind of a mother but my kids are not with me they are on the other side of the world' mother like last year, but an actual in the trenches day to day mother. I am lucky. I am happy. We hang out, we play, we read, we swim, the hubs and I get to go to the river, we go trail running, we go to work, I see patients, I earn money, I come home to a home I love, we eat delicious food, I live my life. I love my life.

World two: The agony of so much of the world. The poverty. The death. The starvation. Sickness. Things I cannot write about here because I will protect my children's privacy but suffice it to say we are in the midst of some deep, deep stuff. And let me tell you that mothering as an adoptive mother, more specifically as a transracial international adoptive mother is just like any other mothering except it isn't. Not in the least. It never will be.

Each day I love them more. And more. And more. And each day I hurt for them more deeply than the day before.

Split self.

But tomorrow is Mother's Day. I will be happy, of course. I promise you that I fought too hard to get here to not be happy.

But I will also be sad. We infertiles know all too well how we can be both happy and sad all in the same breath. It's just who we are.

Because I am my children's second mother. We are their second family. And I will be celebrating their first mothers tomorrow and also grieving for them.

And to all of those still in the trenches, my heart aches for you too. You deserve nothing more than happiness and light in your lives. The women I have met along this journey are some of the most beautiful women I know and although I'm not around here much anymore, you are never far from my thoughts and my heart. I do remember.

I promise you this: my next post will be chock full of photos. And happiness. And goodness. Because there is all of that, and more. I promise.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The post where I'm all over the place

First of all, thank you for your kind words on my last post. I should clarify that the discontinued meds were in no way life-sustaining, just deemed no longer necessary. It just felt so concrete, to discontinue those meds.

I will now commence with using bullets to give you some random updates from my life recently, some noteable notes, if you will:

  • I guest lectured at my alma mater the other week. It was strange walking those halls again, being the supposed expert, answering the questions about my career. The faculty that introduced me told the class about the adoption at the end and that ended up being the thing they were most interested in...go figure!
  • I ran a half marathon the other morning, on a whim. It wasn't an official race, mind you, I just kept running and running until I hit 13.1 miles and then I stopped. I did the whole thing in the dark. I texted the mister at mile 12 just to make sure he was fine with the kiddos (they are early risers!) and he said to keep on going. So I did. Now I wish I had just run until I couldn't go anymore vs. stopping at the know, just to see how far I could've gone. Maybe 13.2? Ha.
  • We sort of got back to volunteering at the shelter. I say "sort of" because our nanny got sick after she started and after we were already almost there, so the hubs had to go back home and I stayed behind. It turns out that one person can serve 100 homeless men if the situation demands it--but I'm sure I was quite a sight racing back and forth between the entree, the salad, the sides, and getting the hot trays back from the dishwasher. I did have some help from one of the homeless guys who has permission to work in the kitchen and he was quite a character. We're going to make another attempt soon.
  • We found a new babysitter--a local high schooler that is a lot cheaper more economical than our nanny for nights out. She basically sits there on our sofa while the babies sleep. We are endeavouring to go out more at times when they are asleep so as not to take away from family time. I am very excited about this endeavour. We need to get out more. If only I didn't have such an early curfew :)
  • I am reading three books right now:
    • The Center Cannot Hold: riveting.
    • BossyPants by Tina Fey: hilarious.
    • Left to Tell: ok I haven't actually started it yet but it looks intense.
  • OK by 'reading' I mean every night I crawl into bed at 8:30 (!) and read for max thirty minutes before I'm out like a light until my iPhone wakes me to run at 3:45.
  • We saw a movie! An actual movie! Yes, it was "The Hunger Games." I gave it an 8.
  • The toddlers (I can't call them babies anymore) continue to thrive. I need to dedicate an entire post to their updates, but suffice it to say they run everywhere and chatter up a storm and mostly sleep like a dream. I say mostly because right.this.very.second as I type I can see them on the monitor, rolling around, kicking, talking, etc. and they have been in their cribs for 45 minutes. Very unusual as they usually conk right out at night. No se.
  • We went to Ethiopian Culture Day with them and it was amazing to be surrounded by beautiful Ethiopian people. It is good to be in the minority every now and again and see your children in the majority.
  • Our cat is going back on Prozac. Um, yeah. That's all I'll say about that. OK I'll add: does anyone want a cat?
  • I decided to make Hello Kitty cakeballs the other day. We were going to a three year old's Hello Kitty birthday party and I realized how much I miss baking and creating and voila! Here you go:

And that about sums up the past couple of weeks around Casa de MTL. What's new with you?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Gone From My Sight

Today they took my Dad off of most of his medications.
He doesn't need them anymore.
Comfort care only.

I understand, I really do.
I want nothing more than for my Dad to be released from this existence; while he's not in acute pain, he's suffering.  Anyone who disagrees with me please don't comment here. If you saw him and had any idea, I don't think you could be a compassionate human being and disagree.

He doesn't know me. He doesn't know my babies. He only sometimes knows my Mom. He barely talks, he sleeps away most of his days. He's eating less.

Signs, all of them, but we really never know.

Soon, he will be gone from my sight. I do know this.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"
And that is dying.

Thank you, Henry Van Dyke.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lessons from a night runner

Five days of the week, my alarm goes off at 3:50 am. I am usually out the door by 4:05 am running.

I remember those first few runs where it felt awkward to be running in pitch darkness. I wear a headlamp around my waist but even still, it was disconcerting to only see a few feet around me.

But now.

Now I love that intense darkness. The solitude. The stillness. The fact that most of the world around me is still sleeping but I am running.

Night running reminds me of our journey to parenthood.

During our infertility struggles and treatment I could only see the immediate ground in front of me: get pregnant. Get pregnant get pregnant get pregnant. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other even though you feel like you're blind and don't know what lurks in the darkness, keep going. Keep focused on the goal. Stumble. Fall down. Skin your knees, bruise your shins, but by God get back up and keep going. One foot in front of the other no matter what.

I ran a million miles in the darkness, sometimes it felt like I didn't have a headlamp. Sometimes I was gasping for air. Sometimes I could only walk. Sometimes I could barely crawl. The darkness of infertility threatened to bring me down. But I was determined to keep going on that path, looking down down down at the ground, at the few feet in front of me, focused on the very next step always.


One day I decided to look up.

And I saw the stars.

The brilliant stars--millions and millions of them--across the dark sky.

Where we live there no streetlights. Obviously there is no traffic during my night/early morning runs. It is me and sky and God.

And the occasional deer.

It took me a few weeks of running in the dark to get comfortable enough to look up and notice the stars. And now I see them constantly; now I run with my eyes turned upward, sure-footed and confident.

And nearly every time I go I see a shooting star.

Ah, my babies are my shooting stars.

I was so focused on looking at the ground for so many years I nearly missed them.

Sometimes you have to look up and see the stars guys.

I know there are many reasons people give for staying on the most common path to parenthood, for not considering adoption, but having been through it I will say that barring simply no interest in adoption or perhaps a criminal background, there really are pathways for most to adoption if your heart is ready. The adoption tax credit makes financing an adoption far easier than financing fertility treatments. It's not an easy journey and it most definitely doesn't end when the adoption paperwork is complete ( do not want oversimplify this incredibly complex emotional journey for all parties involved, most importantly, the adoptees who had no say in their adoption), it's an unconventional journey, but in the proper cirumstances, it can build a family.

I can't change my infertility road. But one day, I anticipate some painful conversations when I might have to explain why it took me so long to see my stars. Because I never want them to think they weren't the best choice I could have ever made, because they are.

My beautiful shooting stars. H&H.

I'm so, so glad I looked up.

EDITED: I re-read this post after it published and don't want to sound like I'm pushing adoption. I'm not. Of course I think it is under-considered because it stings to be told to consider adoption when you're not ready. I get that. I was there. But I want to be a light for anyone seeking this option, and maybe even open some hearts to it. That is all. Motives pure. Promise.

Also edited to sadly add: We were lucky with the adoption tax credit. With current legislation it won't be as good for adoptions completed in 2012 and 2013. At all. I need to figure out what is being done to extend it. Man, were we lucky.

Friday, March 23, 2012

On March 23, 2011 we stood in a waiting room of an Ethiopian court.

It was crowded. There was no room to sit. It was hot; no air conditioning.

There was no specific appointed time, just a time that the court opened that we were told to arrive.

We rode over in the back of an old Toyota, through streets crowded with cars and livestock and people, over horrible roads that jangled us about in our seatbeltless back seat. The air was full of smog and burned our lungs as the windows were down. When we first arrived our car was immediately surrounded by school aged boys who weren't in school because instead, they begged for the chance to polish our shoes for money to feed their families. Women approached with babies on their backs who looked at us with malnourished and hollow eyes as they signed hunger, bringing their tiny hands to their open mouths.

We went before the judge as she sternly asked us questions. We were nervous. It was over quickly.

Today, exactly one year later, we went before a judge again.

We rode over in our comfortable car, on a super highway, with food in our bellies and clean air in our lungs. As we got out we were met by my sister and mother in the parking lot. No one was begging. No one was hungry. We went into a comfortable building, air conditioned to the point of being uncomfortably cold, and waited our turn. We carried our well fed twenty-six pound toddlers in front of the judge and sought her approval of our adoption.

I am happy.
I am sad.
I have so many mixed emotions as our so many of our 'moments' have been literally presided over by a stranger.

But that's minor. It's just part of the nature of adoption.

We have full bellies. We have access to health care. My children have the chance to frolic in the bluebonnets versus begging someone for a few coins for polishing their shoes.

Some days it all hurts so much, the reality of the direction our lives have taken. Because once you know, you cannot un-know.

Tonight I have a grateful heart. I want my heart to always be bursting with gratitude.

Today the State of Texas recognized my children as my children. But they are the world's children, and there are literally millions more who do not have any luxuries in life, not a single one. And we can't forget them.

I don't want to end on a sad note, so I'll share some photos of the day.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Earlier this week I saw a patient that I have been seeing for six years. I only see her yearly and I must admit, I don't immediately recall details of patients by a name on my schedule alone. But her face.

The second I saw her face I remembered.

She's a sister in this fight.
Only she never won.

She's 50 now.

I had to go through her electronic chart trying to find some information and as I clicked entry after entry the 'chief complaints' zipped by. I went back to the beginning, when she was 40.

I felt sick as I watched those years go by, literally clicking through them with my simple mouse clicks.

"A 40 year old female presents for..."
"A 41 year old female presents for..."
"A 42 year old female presents for..."

and so on and so on until now.

"Are those your babies?" she asked, gesturing towards my two small photos of the babies on my bookshelf in my office. I will not plaster the place with baby photos. I would hope I am more sensitive than that.


She knows I know her history. We've discussed it as it has related to the reason she sees me.

But she doesn't know mine.

She might have an inkling now, seeing the faces of my two adopted babies, but she might not.

Oh but my heart broke.
Her social history will always say: Number of children: zero.

I worked hard. I fought through so much. Year after year I hurt, a pain so raw and ragged there were days it threatened to take me right under. And she waged a war, too. For reasons unknown to me she stopped at medical treatment. I have no idea if she had any interest in adoption. If her mind wasn't open to it I wished it had been. But I"ll never know.

Life is not fair.
It will never be fair.
Everyone has pain.

"A 44 year old woman presents for..."
"A 45 year old woman present for..."
"A 46 year old woman presents for..."

Damn the years just keep ticking by and some are no closer to their dreams of being a parent.

It is a simple dream. A simple dream. The simplest, when you think about it, to be a parent. Most people take it for granted.

And I will never understand why it is denied to so many good souls out there.

Keep fighting ladies. Do not give up. Remember there are many paths to parenthood, and each one of them is beautiful and unique and none is better than the other.

Different--sure. But not better.

Hugs to you all, my fellow ladies in the battle. I haven't forgotten, even though I don't hurt so much anymore. For what it's worth, I promise I haven't forgotten.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Confessions, stolen from Claudia.

OK I didn't steal her actual confessions, I have plenty of my own.

But I loved her post and like the idea of purging here, laying it all out there for you guys.

So here goes:

I live for their nap in the afternoon. Don't get me wrong-- we have a great time partying down from 6:00 am to 12:30 pm but man, when 12:30 rolls around and I lay them down so gingerly in their cribs I have to stop myself from doing a little heel click on my way out the door. Ahhh, the sounds of silence (which is really the sounds of their soundspa white noise maker and their lullaby music) for two to three hours in the afternoon while they rest and rejuvenate is truly magical.

I eat all of their Pirate's Booty every week. True, they get some of it (when I feel like sharing) but I eat the bulk of it. I am addicted to it. I guess I feel like it is a chip but not quite as bad for me or as high in calories. Anyway, I hoover it right up but buy it for 'the babies.'

I use my toddlers as tiny masseuses. Some days I go for these long runs by myself. On Saturday I got to run eight miles all alone and it was a thrill. My muscles were sore. So later when we were 'playing' in their room I laid on my stomach on the floor and they crawled all over me and banged into me repeatedly with their tiny little fists, laughing and howling the whole time and I felt like I was getting a mini-massage. It's free, they love it, and I'm desperate.

I eat M&Ms every day. Really. It's another addiction. And I eat them by color in the following order: brown, orange, yellow, green, blue, then red. I line them up in pairs by colors too and eat them two at a time. If there is an uneven number of colors it really throws me off, but I certainly don't discard any M&Ms over it.  I really only do this with the plain ones, and these are the ones I eat the most often. I buy the little mini-packs or otherwise there could be big trouble. Does anyone else have to eat them in color order?

Every single week at work I vow to read journals and the like at home on my off days. And every single week I fail. I show back up at work on Monday and think: Oh yeah, I have a job and I see patients for a living and therefore I need to keep up with the latest research. And the cycle continues.

I love getting the mail-->the old school in-the- physical- mailbox mail. Lately I share this love with our son, who also gets a real kick out of walking with me to the mailbox (he often wakes up half an hour earlier than his sister so it's his special thing to do alone with me) and I have to be nice and let him open the mailbox door and pull everything out. Hmph.

We still have not made their video montage of when we met them, brought them home, etc. I have a million video clips and it's all too daunting. I just want someone else to do it for me.

On that note the other day my iPhone ran out of storage space for my photos. Because there are over 2,700 of them plus videos on it. Egads. I backed them up but I don't know how to/want to eliminate them from the actual phone in an easy way. I want it to magically organize into folders by date for me. Whine.

I like reality TV fashion shows. We watch Project Runway (and Allstars!) and I'm kind of secretly (not anymore) hoping for good things with that new fashion show with Jessica Simpson and Nicole Ritchie. And yes, I am still sad about Jessica and Nick. Do we really think they'll never get back together?

Many nights I am in bed at 8:45 pm. I read for twenty minutes and then fall sound asleep. It's because I get up in the middle of the night to run but 8:45 I feel like an old granny when I crawl into the bed. And yet I want to do another heel click (under the covers) because

I am tempted to buy some Five Fingers running 'shoes'. I just read "Born to Run" and wonder if my chronic toe problems when I run more than four or five miles a day have to do with a need to be in completely different footwear. My toes are hideous. It's the understatement of the century. I'm ashamed of them and I live in a town where flip-flops are footwear of choice for 7-8 months out of the year. I have said I need to see a podiatrist for years but I've done that in the past and guess what? They pulled out several of my toenails. Um yeah. Painful and attractive, how could I go wrong? It's not a fungus. I repeat: it's not a fungus. It's trauma and now they don't grow right. Or something. They're funky and I have to put fake toenails on them. Yes, I just confessed to putting fake toenails on my toes.

We still don't eat dinner as a family and I suffer guilt over this. We feed them at 5:45 pm and I am just not ready to eat yet. We relish our dinner time, you know, where we can have stimulating conversation and the like. Oh wait--confession part two: we really eat in front of the TV.  And yet...I know we should be modeling good dinner behavior, yadda yadda yadda BLAH BLAH BLAH. So sue me. They know how to use a spoon. They eat great. Our son wolfed down lima beans yesterday and our daughter inhaled (not literally) some chickpeas. So I choose to let myself off the hook on this one.

I'm addicted to Instagram. It makes photos look much better and I'm not a talented photographer to begin with, I just take a lot of pictures (see above).

OK that's enough don't you think? Confession is good for the soul. Indeed.

So are photos.

OMG she is growing up so fast...and yes, her flip flops are huge but I wanted to
see them on her.

On the other hand, from this perspective they still seem so two guys walking at the park...sigh.

Sarang came to visit! It's so much fun to meet a blogger in person (though the babies look grumpy in the photo, beleive me they were not: especially when given their Curious George treats from Aunt Sarang!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Our life in photos for the day...

It rained all day today here. That can make for a long day with two walking (running!) toddlers.

I had to work at the clinic for some special Saturday hours--wheee! Every one of my patients said "It's so cool you're open on Saturdays." I was all "Yeah right." Because we're not. We just have work in lists so long that our head endo asked us to come in and work through them. Somehow I was one of the only few suckers who signed up. Oh well, it was actually nice to see patients in a more quiet environment. No one complained about the lack of parking, so that was a nice bonus.

But, that's not to say we didn't have a great day after I got home.

There was reading...
And building block towers and of course knocking them down...
Daddy got in on the action, too. A rare moment where they both sort of looked at the camera and neither was wailing/squirming/fighting to get down.
We snuggled....
...and pushed our high chairs around the living room...

...and bounced balls...
And read some more.
There might have been a Dance Party*. Perhaps those huge picture windows should make me
think twice about such activities...
A tiny dog watched quietly from her perch on the couch, taking it all in.

* There might have been dancing to such songs as "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred. And "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mixalot. What can we say? We put the television on Party Mix and you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.**

** But secretly, those are the jams.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Mom I Want to Be

I used to have labor and delivery fantasies. You know, I was going to go au naturel and be beautiful while doing it.

We all know that fantasy didn't have a chance to come true or not come true. Of course, I always joke that my labor and delivery consisted of a 16 hour flight with two sick infants who were miserable and cried 14 of those hours...and I can tell you that I most definitely was NOT beautiful while doing that. Shudder.

I guess much of life is about anticipation and maybe fantasizing about how you will carry yourself in certain roles and in certain situations. Or is that just me?

I used to swear to DH that I wouldn't gripe or complain about the angst of motherhood, that I would take it all in stride, that I would not fall apart when a certain fifteen month old needed a huge diaper change right after we arrived at the grocery store and thus I found myself unzipping sixteen layers of clothes (it was 38 degrees here this morning!) and changing said fifteen month old in the back of our car because the double carts at the grocery store certainly won't fit into the bathroom and really, I abhor those public changing plastic things anyway... but yet I found myself bitching and complaining about it to DH on the drive home from the grocery store. As if he needed/wanted to hear that story.

In the early days I felt so overwhelmed and tired and frankly, and it wouldn't have mattered how much I wanted to appear in control and not overwhelmed because to sum up our look in one word: pitiful. Pitiful, pitiful, pitiful. We both looked gaunt, dark shadowed, and stressed. Yes, we were happy! happy! happy! too but the physical toll was real. And I hated that. We couldn't hide our overwhelmedness. It was hanging out all over the place. I mean, let's get real: I started crying on that plane ride within twenty minutes of take off. Pitiful indeedio.

I wanted and fantasized about being the Mom who took care of her two long awaited and anticipated infants with ease, who didn't freak out over every little thing, who took mealtime antics in stride, who cooked and cleaned and baked and ran and wrote and read and still talked to friends on the phone and kept up with everyone else's lives and did it all with aplomb. And I wanted to be fashionable while doing it, too, just to throw that in there.

Universe? Is that you laughing?

But I'm going to rely on my old technique of faking it until making it. Because it can be done. I do not have to regurgitate every.last.detail of their naps or leaking diapers or vomit sessions or mealtime antics to anyone who will listen. That makes me exactly the Mom I did not want to be. Shudder again. I will decide to pretend to be handling it all with aplomb and eventually, as the saying goes, I will.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Am I an IF freak?--EDITED

I think I am a mutant IF victim/survivor.

I want to put this delicately because in no way is this meant to harm anyone because all feelings in IF are valid.

I keep reading about people who have had success--either a spontaneous pregnancy or success with treatment--saying how badly they still hurt over IF. How the pain will never go away.

Either I am just too busy/overwhelmed or I have scarred up really really well because I don't feel acute pain anymore. I don't even feel dull pain anymore.

The other night, the babies were sleeping, and I was getting dinner ready and the song "Sea of Love" came on. I motioned quietly to the hubs to come into the kitchen.

"Listen." I said.

Ahhhh, Sea of Love. He used to sing it to me so sweetly all those years ago.

We started dancing in the kitchen and the tears started falling. We had just rocked those beautiful babies before laying them down in their cribs.

"Did you ever think we'd be here?" he asked.

I could barely reply.

We are parents. We are the parents of two beautiful African children. In my wildest dreams from childhood I would never have predicted my life would have turned out this way.

I don't hurt over IF anymore because let's be honest, I crossed over. It may not have been the way I intended to initially, but I did. I am a mother. It's not all I ever wanted to be but it was something I always wanted and was denied for many long, grueling, agonizing months. I fought hard to get here. It did not come easily, but alas, I arrived.

Yes, I sometimes feel a strange pang when I see my friends' kids and they are spitting images of their parents. But not in a vanity way, just in a "isn't that cool" kind of way. I really don't feel any need to see someone who looks like me, but I think it's natural to want to know how you and your spouses genes might combine.

But my babies are beautiful and the way they came into my life has made it much easier for me to see them as unique little souls, not any sort of extension of me, just their own little beings with their own path in life. Of course I will want things for them, of course I will try to guide them and influence them and hopefully help make their paths easier.  I always feared I would see my children as this quasi-extension of myself and even feared ways they might deviate from the things I wished and dreamed for them. I am relieved--and I think somewhat better able--to view them as their own beings because they have no genetic ties to me. I am relieved for them for a lot of reasons related to that. Yes, deeply saddened for them, too, but that goes without saying (I hope). When I cried for DH getting a vasectomy it was temporary, and as much about my inability to hold his hand through the procedure as it was for the loss of genes. And that was sadness for the loss of his genes, not mine.

So I don't hurt much anymore. Does that make me the anomaly here? I think that IF pain is unique, and awful, and excruciating, and unless you've been through it (like most pain out there) you may think you know, but you really do not. But I also like to think that it ends with parenthood. And I'm so sad to know that for many it does not, it just goes on and on and on.

Am I too tired to feel it?

I don't know, but that's entirely possibly given those 4:15 am wake times :)

And hello--I do not wake up and run simply to be able to indulge in desserts. I run because it clears my head. I run because it's time where I am one with myself, and no one is tugging on me or drooling on me or asking me to read Brown Bear for the tenth time in a row. I run because I like the sound of my breathing. I run because I like to sweat. I run because I like to feel a connection to my father, who taught me to run. (note: all of these feelings are on a good running day--on a bad running I plod along just so I can eat the dessert).

Edited to add:
Heather and Silver--Well, it's an interesting question and one I obviously can't answer with 100% honesty because we adopted two babies at once. But, I do remember saying, when I was in the most painful throes of infertility, that if I could just cross over and have one child I would forget the pain because I was sick.of.the.pain. Of course, easy to say then and easy to recall now, ha. I think the other thing I am realizing is that everyone has pain. Mine was IF. Others deal with chronic illnesses or conditions, or the loss of a spouse, or the disintegration of a marriage. And my pain was IF, and I'm done with IF. So I'm done with pain.
Oh yeah, also--my children aren't genetically related at all, yet they're full siblings to them and to us. So Silver, maybe you can give your son a non-genetic but still sibling all the way! Heather, I'm sorry the program you were using in the past is no longer available, I hope there are others you can consider.
Fellow freaks--thanks for the shout-outs :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hitting the ground running, almost literally.

I say almost literally because overuse of the term literally is something that annoys me and yet I am guilty of it as well.

These days--they fly by. Another week gone and I can usually barely remember it.

Yesterday I was awake at 4:15 am and running outside, headlamp strapped around my waist, by 4:31. So that I could be back by 5:15 in time to get a shower and get myself semi-ready/presentable by 6 am, when the hubs would leave for work and the babes would be awake and our day would begin. This morning I was running by 5:15, which felt late!

I don't do this often. I usually run at 7 pm, headlamp strapped around my waist, in the dark, right after they lay down for bed. Which means eating at 8:30 pm.

Yesterday after my run I fed them breakfast, then loaded them up for our weekly grocery store trip, list in hand, recipes and meals for the upcoming week planned. While they had their morning "rest"-->we don't do morning naps anymore but they still get to watch one Baby Einstein for 30 minutes in the morning whilst drinking delicious whole milk from a sippy cup--I cooked two meals that are currently in the freezer and we will eat this week. We eat each of them twice--thank God for a husband who doesn't mind a repeat--so I do not have to cook during the week. Then I let them in the kitchen to play with various kitchen utensils while I cleaned and scrubbed my destroyed kitchen.

Then we had playtime together. Oh the playtime! They are both walking/toddling and just delight in themselves when they take steps all around the room. It is a thrill to see.
During their nap it was housecleaning--dusting, toilets, vanities, showers, sweeping, baseboards. This morning it was vacuuming and steammopping to get ready for a playdate; I have to do that when the hubs is here because the kiddos are scared of the vacuum cleaner. Our daughter was a crankypants during the playdate and it had to be cut short, but it is what it is.

Oh yes, because I miss baking I decided to make homemade peanut butter cups yesterday (they're giant, though you can't tell in the picture) and last night I made homemade truffles for a friend's sister's wedding shower.

Work days aren't any less busier--up at 5:15, play with the babies from 6 to 6:30, out the door by 6:35, work at a frantic pace seeing patients all day with only a 30 minute lunch so I can leave 30 minutes earlier to get home to play with the babies some more (and who am I kidding--I never get a real lunch at work anyway because the patients, they just.keep.calling), make their dinner, clean up, get them ready for bed, read to them, rock them, put them to sleep, go running, get cleaned up, iron my clothes for the next day and then thankfully--THANKFULLY--there is food already made and we watch TV like two zombies while stuffing our pieholes.
I am not trying to say I am busier than anyone else, I know I'm not. But sheesh, sometimes the pace feels ridiculous. I do go to bed by 9:30 every night or else I would never make it. I don't run every day but at least four to five days per week. I don't always bake but I do enjoy it so I try to fit it in as part of my own personal therapy. We try to see friends but we rarely do, need to work on that. We're signed up to be back at the homeless shelter soon and that's a refreshingly good thing. We're back to going to church, our absence because of their morning nap and my fear of our son biting another child now ended, another refreshingly good thing.

It's no wonder the weeks just zip by.

So right now this very second I am going to just sit here. Maybe read, maybe just stare out the window at the lake (did I mention our neighbors cut down a tree and now from our enomormous front windows we are rewarded with a beautiful view of the lake we never knew we didn't have?) Close this post, click publish and just rest. Because they are still sleeping (have to love that longer afternoon nap) and as soon as they wake up, it all sort of starts up again.

But at least I've already run, because if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to enjoy these.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm taking photos

I'm not sure what to write here anymore.
I don't know if I should still be blogging at all.
I do love to write, I know that. But I know I don't make the time for it or give it its due.
I wrote this post about zero population growth but realized it might offend anyone with more than two kids. Scratch that because that wasn't the intent. The intent was to show the irony of me, the girl who fought so hard to pass on her piddly genetics, to procreate, to make more babies when--to borrow a brilliant line from Paul Simon--the planet groans every time it registers another birth, and who finally relented to the voice inside of her that had been telling her so long to go a different route, that there is no such thing as better, only different, and now I've just written a ridiculously long sentence that encapsulates the heart of that post and I'm not sure where I was going anyway.

Oh yeah, to blog anymore or not? I'm not really an adoption blogger, I'm definitely not an infertility blogger, I'm not really a Mom-blogger, and I don't know how to be just a regular blogger. I'm not one of those adorable blogger who posts adorable iPhone photos every few days of her perfect life in pictures.

Oh wait. I do have some adorable iPhone pictures to share, those will come. I can say they're adorable because they're of the babies, not me. Hello.

I could be a sort of manic depressive Mom blogger...meaning, some days I have these higher than high type posts that I write in my head where I'm on top of the world and everyone is napping and pleasant and happy and eating well and my house is clean and I'm baking and I'm working and I'm not tired and I'm exercising and then it will all vanish--POOF!--in a flash when someone throws me for a loop and I realize I'm at best, a marginal parent, who is short on patience and suddenly I'm tired and I'm too fat and I'm not cooking enough and I'm not volunteering and I'm not balancing anything and then I'm lowest of lows and I write that post in my sad little brain. Does that sound interesting?

I will say this: I am currently in love with my Nanny. I would like for her to move in and live with us like Alice on the Brady Bunch. Seriously. The three days a week she is here are wonderful. The babies probably miss her when it's four days with Yours Truly, ha.

Of course she's amazing with the babies, that's the priority. But she also sweeps, swiffers, wipes down counters, leaves the high chairs cleaner than I'd seen them in recent months, and most importantly, doesn't get into my stuff. Yeah, I realize that's pretty basic--that last one about my stuff--and I won't go into details here, but our first nanny had a wee bit of a Single White Female kind of thing happening and I grew tired of coming home to realize she'd been in my closet or my drawers in my bathroom. Gives me the shivers just typing that.

Back to the good nanny--she is also doing things I hadn't thought of. I am not too proud to admit I am not an expert in child development and while I do a fair amount of reading I am always hitting others up for their opinions and advice. The good nanny helped us transition from two naps to one in a way I hadn't considered which--knock wood--seems to be working and the other day I came home to find two brilliant works of art created by H&H with finger paints. Finger paints with a 13 and 14 month old? I would have never ventured there.

And there was no mess to speak of. Ahhhhhhh. No mess.

I am not sure how this post evolved into a nanny post but it did, and I love her. She's also an amateur photographer and here are the shots she texted me yesterday while I was at work that brought tears to my eyes.

Can you stand it?

Just playing in our backyard.

So I don't know what to do. Write here. Not write here. Post adoralbe iPhone photos or not post adorable iPhone photos. Rant, not rant, manic depressively write about my experiences as a parent...I just don't know. One time I opened my old blog up to a Q&A and that was pretty interesting, I guess I'm open to that again if there's anyone interested enough to ask a question.