Friday, December 30, 2016

Maybe in 2017...

I’ve really sucked at this blogging this this year.  Sometimes I feel like I kind of just half-assed it through part of the year. Or like I’m running after my life, which is speeding ahead of me, my fingers just brushing it as I reach forward at a full sprint.

Maybe this is just adulthood. Motherhood. Career.
Frosting Face - or "How my kids became the Joker"

Celebrity deaths and politics aside (which so much has been written by others, I have nothing to add) 2016 was not a bad year. I got a promotion. My children and family are happy and generally healthy. My younger sister is engaged. I finally got some medical stuff figured out and started to lose some of the baby weight (plus some put on by a sluggish postpartum thyroid) and got rid of the brain fog that came with it.

Yet with all these things, time seems to go so quickly and the days fill up so fast. Lunch hours are dedicated to the gym or work meetings (because who doesn’t love a working lunch). Evenings are set aside for dinner and a couple whirlwind hours with the twins, bedtime, some unwinding time with the husband (we will never get through the Netflix queue), sometimes more work, and then my bedtime. Wake up when it’s still dark and do it all again. Weekends are spent with the twins, extended family, or doing all the things I don’t have time to do during the week because days are only 24 hours and my body still thinks it needs sleep.

Really all my issues would just be solved if I could get a couple more hours out of every day. I don’t care if that’s via less sleep or slowing the earth’s rotation and adding some actual hours to the day, it would be super helpful. There’s lot of things I would do with the extra time, and lots of goals I have for 2017.

Maybe in 2017 I’ll get my shit together and manage to write more. I’ll capture more moments with the girls. I’ll pick up my real camera again and take more pictures with something other than my phone. I’ll slow down and enjoy everything a little more.

Maybe in 2017 I’ll get some time alone with Husband. We’ll go on a date that involves wearing something fancy and it’ll be just the two of us eating and I won’t have to say things like “Don’t touch your hair,” or “Please use your fork,” or “Chew, chew, chew,” during our meal.

This doesn't count shoes I have in filing cabinets.
I mean, who has paper files anymore?
Maybe in 2017 I’ll have the chance to spend more time with my sisters or my mother and father. Sometimes it feels like even the time with them is so busy making sure no one hurts themselves or someone else you never really get a chance to visit.

Maybe in 2017 I’ll manage to get this new project at the office I’ve been tasked with totally under control and underway, turning it into a success.

The again, maybe in 2017 I’ll just continue to chase life. I’ll do all of the above things, some days with more ferocity and dedication than others. Maybe one day I’ll get close enough to grab on to life for a second and treasure a moment. I’ll get time to stand still so I can appreciate a frosting covered face, a kiss, a laugh, a breeze or an accolade. I’ll be able to grab that second and file it away with all the other moments you keep, and when you think back on them they make you smile. Or maybe in 2017 I’ll just try to clean out the shoe collection from under my desk, because this shit is getting a little out of hand. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Books, Bedtime and Bad Things

After dinner yesterday I was playing with the girls when the first reports of the terror attack in Nice, France started showing up on my phone. News alerts, Facebook; I wanted to know what was going on. S wanted to wear one of my bracelets to bed and D was trying to decide if she was going to wear a tutu to bed.

I finally decided that I need to focus on my twins and the precious little time I get with them every day. The horrors of the world will still be unrolling on Facebook and every major news network when they’re sound asleep. As I put my phone down D walked up to me and handed me a book.

“Night-night book,” she said sitting down next to me.

I stared down and felt a lump in my throat. The book was “Brush Mona Lisa’s Hair.”

France is under attack again and here I am staring at one of the most famous paintings in the world, which resides in the French’s most famous museum…and my little girl has no idea. She just likes interacting with the pictures.

We are reading about Frans Hals’ The Laughing Cavalier, playing with his collar, and over an ocean she doesn’t know about other children are dying because of the evil that exists in this world. How do I save them from it?

Even in bed they're in constant motion. 
How can I keep them innocent? Thinking that all it takes to be a princess is to wear a tutu or a dress, that they are always beautiful, that their momma is a princess, Daddy is the funniest man in the world, the dog is as much a part of the family as anyone else, and every color is pink.

How do I ever look into their eyes and tell them about the world that exists now when their chief concern is if I’m ok when I cough or if their sister is ok when she is crying. These are girls who climb into each other’s crib during nap time so they can be close to one another. 

As one blows on the feathers of the angels in Raphael’s Sistine Madonna the other one picks out another book. Night-night books are plentiful now and there’s always one more they try to slide in to delay bedtime just a few more minutes. And you know what, I’ll let them. Tonight we can have just one more book, and then maybe another one after that, because someday I will have to talk to my girls about the bad things in the world. Bad people, bad events, bad days, things that make us sad, things we can change and things we can’t. But right now, tonight and tomorrow, there’s time for one more book. The bad things will still be there when it’s over, so let's do something to keep them at bay for just a few more minutes. 

Once all books are finished and put away, and kisess have been doled out, they have been tucked in, each to their individual liking, as I shut the door sweet little voices from their cribs say, “Momma, I love you a moon annnnnd back.”  

I love you too baby girls. All the way to the moon and back...and back....and back again. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dropping the F-bomb

Why are four letter words so easy to say?

I mean for us adults they just roll off the tongue in a variety of situations. I haven’t counted how many I use in a day, but it’s up there. I tried to stop once but it turns out not swearing is bullshit that other people do. It’s like cooking or running marathons. Great for some people, but totally not for me.

It turns out that four letter words are equally easy to for toddlers to say.

How is it that the kids say “beek-a-poo” when playing peek a boo, but “Fuck” is loud and clear. Monkeys are commonly referred to as “on-keys” but “oh shit” doesn’t seem to be tripping them up.

Husband said in their defense we probably say “fuck” a lot more than “peek-a-boo.” I'm not sure about that, but the two may be neck and neck. My two-year-old twins are dropping f-bombs at the dinner table while I have a post-work cocktail. They have also recently learned to growl back at the dog when playing tug, which means at least we’re not the only ones who are being mimicked for lousy language. I’m sure those growls have some cuss words in them. I mean they must after living with me for the last 8 years even my dog curses, right?

So how does one change their whole way of speaking so that I don’t raise potty-mouthed children? And do I even want to? Studies show that swearing is good for you and people who swear have a larger vocabulary and have greater verbal intelligence.

Learning everything...including the bad things. 
Maybe I should be proud of them and their f-bombs. I mean, I wasn’t too much older than they are now when I stomped my foot at a librarian and told her “Shit, I forgot my puzzoo.”

Can’t form the appropriate sounds for “puzzle” but “shit” came out ringing like crystal. And to a fucking librarian?! Pretty sure that was one of the first of many times my actions made my parents hope the floor would open up and swallow them. Then again, depending on her vocabulary maybe that librarian had a total potty mouth too. She probably just didn’t exercise it in front of patrons and their small children.

So go on kids, rock out with your “shit” and “fuck” and maybe a random "damnit" here and there thrown in for flavor. Your dad and I will try not to laugh, and we’ll tell you not to say those things (and seriously, don't ever say them in public). Even long after you have learned how to pronounce the “m” in “monkey” and stop adding another “w” to “flowers” (fwo-wers), when you’re hiding your swear words from us and cussing on the playground or via text messages (or whatever it is by then) whenever we catch you we’ll tell you not to talk like that until you’re an adult, and don’t take examples from your potty-mouth parents, but deep down we’ll know that with every “damn” comes the ability to pull out a  word like “confabulate” and “largesse” and properly use them in polite conversation.  Maybe each “shit” is a direct reflection of your love of books, and that A in English was brought to us by the letter F. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Maternity Leave and Meternity - Not even close

Every once in a while a woman comes along, hopping around, flipping hair and flashing manicured nails and spouting off about the dumbest shit in the world, and all you can think is “You’re the type that makes women look stupid.”

Enter Meghann Foye, a woman who has written a book and spoken on the topic of “Meternity.” It’s like maternity leave, but without the baby. You know for single people without babies because it’s not fair that only people who have babies get all this time off.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

According to Ms. Foye, taking maternity leave is a wonderful time that allows women to reflect on
Spend vacation hooked up to this every 3 hours. It's fun!
life, learn to advocate for themselves and their family, and generally recharge.

You moms seeing red yet?

I’m not sure about everyone else’s experience, but I went into labor at night, was emailing my boss from the hospital before they wheeled me into an operating room to cut me open, pulled everything out, including two babies, and put everything back together. I then spent three days in the hospital, and came home to a constant cycle of nursing, pumping, diapers, crying, bodily fluids, no sleep, more nursing, more crying (it may or may not have been me), lots of bleeding, and some more pumping. There was also that whole healing thing I had to do since I had what amounts to a major abdominal surgery. I managed to fit some of that in as well. At week six I left my twins to go back to work because my husband and I really felt that living indoors was important and we needed the money of my full salary.

A few weeks later I took my first business trip and was gone from them for two nights and was introduced to the wonderful world of pumping while traveling.

How I started my "vacation" (This is not me). 
Sounds awesome right? Still want a maternity leave? Did I mention they didn’t sleep through the night for 13 months? What about pumping at work? That’s a lot of fun and not at all awkward as you sit in a meeting that’s running late and pray you don’t start leaking because your boobs feel like painful rocks strapped to your chest.

About the only thing that I came off my maternity leave realizing was that I didn’t want to travel as much and I wanted to make more money, and I felt like that before I had two kids ripped from my abdomen. So you know what I did? I got a different job.

Screw you and your “meternity.” You want time off, save up your PTO, or take and unpaid leave of absence. That’s pretty much like a maternity leave. Time off without pay. Sounds awesome, right? Also, why should only women get this? Don’t men need to soul search and figure out what deep meaning things they have to do with their lives? Hopefully it’s not write silly books about shit they don’t understand.

As for advocating for yourself, that’s a skill you can get without having kids or taking sabbatical, and doesn’t require soul searching. It’s called being confident and assertive. Figure it out. Men and women can both do it. Believe in yourself and the job you’re doing and then figure out how to get what you want. If your current company won’t accommodate find another job. It’s not easy, and it takes balls, but you can do it without vacation or pushing a baby out of your lady parts.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I should probably figure out what work I’ll be taking home this weekend since I leave on time every day in an effort to see my kids.