A PERFECT HEART

When Natalie was born at thirty weeks a heart murmur was detected and then an echo was performed that showed part of her heart had not completely closed. This can happen to premature babies, so a follow-up at three years is what was advised. I took Natalie on Monday, to the Cardiologist for the three year follow-up.

She had two different tests and they both showed that the hole is completely closed. Natalie has a perfect heart and can do any physical activity she chooses to do according to the doctor. We were so happy to hear that and I am very thankful we do not have to go back. I am often reminded how blessed I am that the twins are so healthy since I had such a difficult pregnancy and they were born so prematurely.

I am also thankful that I could call Patty and ask her all my questions regarding this and that her sister also talked to Patty about her daughter who also had the same thing as Natalie and was just fine as well. The open relationship with the donor family has worked out perfectly for me and my family. I believe that everyone involved has been blessed as well and that these relationships will make all of our hearts perfect.

A LITTLE SENSITIVITY, PLEASE

On Friday, my mom brought the babies up to work for a visit. They hadn’t been to the office since December and I’d been getting lots of baby visit requests. As I suspected, they were a hit. Thankfully, neither screamed and both were pretty outgoing running around and throwing a ball that was handed to them. They were also pretty enamored with our 16th floor view from the floor level windows. While the visit was a success, something happened for which I felt the need to apologize.

I have a co-worker who is about my age and married, but does not have children. At this point, I don’t know if this is by choice or chance, but in any event, she has no children. As we were making the tour around the floor, I heard someone say to this co-worker, “oh, you need one!” or something along those lines. I cringed as I remembered the same thing being said to me when a new baby came for a visit when we were trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. It was said to me on more than one occasion and eventually just replied, “Sometimes it’s just not that easy.” It was a simple statement that pretty much stopped the conversation right there.

I understand that most people just can’t understand how it feels, but I wish there was more sensitivity around the subject of a person’s childbearing abilities or even desires. Even though I’m not sure what the situation is with my co-worker and if she wants or plans to have children, I apologized to her if any of the situation or comments made her uncomfortable. Perhaps children aren’t on her radar, but maybe she’s on the disappointing monthly rollercoaster and will find comfort in knowing that someone else understands.

LEARNING NEW THINGS

Yesterday, as we were getting in the car and getting the car seats fastened, Natalie declared that Julian was her dog as he made barking noises. They often pretend they are animals and Natalie; herself is often, Pepper, the cat. But when she told me that her husband had died on the cross I was a bit taken back. It seems I am almost always running behind, so I brushed it off and told her I was so sorry to hear that.

I have started going to Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday mornings in which Natalie and Julian attend also. They have their own separate class that they go to and have their own lesson. The other day when we got out I asked them what they learned and Natalie told me they did not learn anything. Julian, said, “Yes, we did, we learned about God and Jesus!” Natalie stated again that they had not learned anything and at this point Julian was quite irritated with her, he was now yelling that they had learned about God and Jesus. I think she may have been doing this to get that reaction out of Julian, not sure, but I do know she is learning something as she sings new songs and plays “Bible Study.”

It is such a delight to see the twins learning new things and how they both comprehend it so differently. They are both such a delight in many different ways. I am so thankful not only that I am their mother, but that they have each other.

KERFUFFLE

I learned a new word today: kerfuffle. It’s a British term for a noisy disturbance or commotion. It fits well for what happens at our house these days. Last night when we got home from our walk, we let the kids out of the stroller so they could run around and burn off the last of their energy before baths and bedtime. Maria and Grant were going in opposite directions and in my effort to stop this I asked Maria to turn around and come back toward the house. This caused quite a kerfuffle. She bent herself in half and started to scream. She did not want to go the other way. She wanted to go where she wanted to go. I got to her and tried to turn her toward the house….a louder kerfuffle ensued. I picked her up…more kerfuffle. If we don’t listen to Mom, playtime ends…time to go inside.

The screaming fits are very frustrating and I wish they would stop. Dr. Sears’ Discipline book says this is a normal part of development for a toddler striving for more independence and that children throw tantrums for two reasons: they are frustrated but can’t verbally communicate it, or they are trying to manipulate with tantrums. We’re working hard to make sure that the latter doesn’t occur. Dr. Sears also states that high need, strong-willed, and sensitive children are more prone to tantrums….so, check, check and check for Maria. High need, strong willed, and sensitive about sums her up. Love her dearly; she’s funny, sweet and quirky, but my ears are still ringing from last night’s fit.

As Fall ushers in cooler temperatures and the windows are open, I hope the neighbors don’t think we’re abusing our children. We’re working diligently to get through this phase and to learn to communicate without shrieking. If you go by our house and hear a kerfuffle, chances are that someone isn’t getting what they want, is tired, or a combination of both. This too shall pass…I just hope I don’t need hearing aids when we’re done.

BREAKING ALL THE RULES

The other night Brian and I watched a program on TV about potty training. Brian and I looked at each other and decided we had broken all the rules. Natalie has been potty trained completely since June, but Julian still is not. I had heard once you get one potty trained the other will be right behind the other. That has not been true for me and neither has the idea of potty training in three days; tried that too, what a joke for both of them.

Natalie decided she wanted an Ariel dress and I told her if she wanted one then I would get one for her after she had been using the potty for a month. I did give her the dress before I went to Haiti, so it had only been a few weeks, but since that time she has only had two accidents and they were both in the same day.

One of my friends suggested I use the same technique with Julian, since he has been asking for another party since his pool party. So Julian will get a Spiderman party when he decides to pee and poop on the potty. Unfortunately, that has not motivated Julian to poop in the potty, in fact he has regressed a bit and has had two pee accidents.

Through all this I have tried to be patient, not get angry with them, not to punish them (I have only if they do not try to go when I ask, like before we leave the house), but at times I have broken my own rules as well. Every child is unique and encouragement is the best policy. We have two more years before they go to school and everyone tells me he will be potty trained by then. Until then I will continue to be supportive and help Julian to learn he is loved no matter what!

PARTING WAYS

We’ve had a long and torrid affair. We’ve met in locked conference rooms, parking lots and garages, interstates and rest stops. I’ve ducked out of meetings and altered schedules to get together. She’s been good to me, but it was time to part. Yes, my faithful Medela Pump In Style Advanced and I are breaking up. It’s been 14 months since I returned to work and I went from 3 times a day, to 2 and finally dropped to one meeting per day a few months ago. At her peak performance, she would draw 16 ounces from my milk-makers.

The timing was right. Work has been terribly hectic and I’ve had many days where I’ve been unable to get in my afternoon break. We dropped the afternoon bottle two weeks ago and they don’t seem to miss it. My freezer is still stocked with my liquid gold to cover for when Jeremy and I want a date night or when I have to travel overnight for work. I will have to come to grips with the diminishing stockpile that I work so very hard for, but it was time. If the babies are still enjoying their morning and evening fix in January, we might have to reconcile, as I will have several nights away. I hope my faithful Medela forgives me. It was a good run, but I don’t miss her.

POOP III—GRANT’S REVENGE

Grant finally did it. He pooped in the tub. Not only did he poop in the tub, it was a floater and he tried to go after it as if it was a toy. Had I been a half second slower we would have had a much different situation. The whole thing caught us off guard. We had our eyes on Maria because she was producing a fair amount of bubbles while bathing. I thought she was getting ready to release the heavy artillery. In watching for her poop face, I completely missed Grant’s signature grunt and red nose. I won’t make this mistake again.

This event comes on the heels of another Grant poo first…he made Jeremy gag. The text exchange went like this:

Jeremy: It took him 16 months but Grant finally had a poop that made me gag. Nasty!

Me: What was wrong with it?

Jeremy: There was nothing not wrong with that. Its very existence was an unholy abomination against God and Nature.

I appreciate a good laugh, but Jeremy’s updates have a way of making me laugh at inappropriate times at work. Perhaps I should stop reading text messages while in boring meetings.