Thursday, October 27, 2011

Twisting, Turning

As usual, I find I have so many things to say I get writer's block and don't say anything at all.

One of my best friends in the entire world is pregnant.  With twins.  Saw the heartbeats today.  She has been pregnant before--more times than I can even remember--and it's never come this far this well.  I am so excited for her I shed tears of joy upon hearing the news.  Send out good vibes to the universe to make this one right and see this pregnancy through to the end.  She so deserves it.  I love you LadyKat.

I've been doing a lot of researching and pondering and reading and (obsessing) about education for the twins.  Four new Montessori/Waldorf (yes, I know they are different for for now, they seem quite similar) books sit by my bed and Chicken and I lay in bed wordlessly combing through them.
For me, less is more and I find myself very attracted to these types of schooling.  I want free form play.  I don't want TV (yet) or iPads or batteries or noise.  I see my boys outside in nature everyday (yes, here in NYC!) playing in the piles of leaves and splashing in the puddles and I see sunshine and joy on their faces in the simple things in life.

We can't afford Montessori or Waldorf preschool.  The prices are ridiculous.  If we sent our boys to private school we would be spending over a MILLION dollars before we ever even sent them off to university.  That is insane.
Chicken talks of sending them to a 2x2 program and I think of doing it all myself at home until they are...four? 
Chicken talks of buying 2 plastic helicopters (probably flashing with lights and sounds) because "they like helicopters" and I tell her we have a lot of fun spotting the helicopters in the sky and walking by the helipad to watch them (loudly!) take off/land.  Chicken wants to buy them more! more! more! toys because "Everyone else has a ton of toys" and I look at her like she has sprouted a new head.  She's not really serious.  But she is...sort of.  And meanwhile I'm trying to get rid of toys because I think they have too many as it is.
I don't know where this is going to end up.  We are OK, don't get me wrong.  But I see some hiccups on the road to parenting that I did not anticipate.  We agree on just about everything when it comes to how we raise the kids, but I think as time progresses I'm really tapping into my inner (homeschooling?) hippie-like type mom and Chicken is...well, she's a Type A New Yorker.

I fantasize about saving up enough money and world schooling/traveling for a year (or more) with the boys.  That would be cheaper than a year of preschool and more educational, right?  I've been tapping into a whole different blogosphere--familes traveling together--and I'm hooked.  But that should come as no surprise.  My goal is to convince Chicken we have to do this.  Her goal is to convince me we need to be saving for our 401K and retirement.  My goal then becomes to convince her how cheap it is to retire in developing countries and with the worldly education our boys will have received they will be willing and ready to support their old mom's in their old age.  And besides...what if I die at 50 or some other hideously young age?  I can be crazy to live with.  I am aware of this:)

This past weekend we went upstate to the MIL's house.  It was our first visit there since the Christmas holidays last year.  I think she got the message that if you aren't going to play nice, we aren't going to come visit you because she was on much better behavior and we all had a very pleasant weekend.  They had the TV on and they fed the kids sugar and I tried not to freak out too much about either of these things.  I'm honestly less freaky about the TV than the sugar.
She sent the boys home on the train with a bag full of some kinds of mystery O's.  It's an hour and 1/2 train ride down the Hudson River and I have never seen Grunter so attached to any type of food but O how he wanted these O's.  And then, I tasted one.  Sugar, omg so much sugar!  The kid was singing at the top of his lungs and bolting for the aisle and banging on the glass and speaking in crazy tongues.  On the trip up?  Not so much.  Pretty calm.

They'd been eating these O's all weekend...and all weekend having a hard time going to sleep or calming down.
So, I try really hard not to give them things with sugar.  Because they are crazy enough already.  But I make them muffins.  And while I sub out or 1/2 some of the sugar, I DO bake with sugar and they DO eat things with sugar from time to time.  And I have offered them cheeseburger and fries and pizza.  Yep.  And they don't want any of those lovely items.  But sugar O's, please please mommy please.

The shopping.  Good lord I had no idea how much shopping you have to do when you have kids.  It's no secret that I really don't like shopping.  Chicken HATES it so she's no help in that department.  I can't even tell you how many freaking hours I've spent searching and reviewing rain coats and rain boots and sneakers and fall jackets and winter coats and snow suits and hats and gloves and an ENTIRE new wardrobe x 2 of everything Size 2T because my boys jumped from a size 9-12 months on their first birthday to an (almost) 2 T  and 26 lbs by the end of summer.  
Shoes.  Why are there so many shoes to choose from?!  I adore Za.ppos but I get overwhelmed.  I can't even imagine if I had 2 girls.  Good grief.  Whoop Whoop went from a size 5 to a size 7 in less than 3 months.  Now he's almost a 7.5.  I don't know how much money we've spent in the last couple of months 'outfitting' them.  I knew kids were expensive but I really didn't see it like this!

I made a killing at Baby G.ap yesterday.  I never shop there because the prices are ridiculous but I got all sale items PLUS 40% off and ended up with 7 items for $52.  Score!
After that I hit a few things at Baby O.ld Navy with an extra 25% off and then ended up with some super buys at Marshalls.  I have always been a bargain shopper but now I'm on every mailing list out there and hunt down the sales.  I wish we had a good resale shop here but sadly almost everything resale in the city means some sort of used Baby P.rada like outfit that is still 10x more expensive than the G.ap sale stuff.  And I just do not have the time or patience to hunt down the non-crap stuff at our (overpriced) city Goodwill.
The only way I'm going to save up enough money for long-term travel is for the boys to stop growing so I can stop shopping!!!  (which would be OK because this age?  I LOVE THIS AGE.)

The hole is still residing in my stomach and Grunter loves to grab at the roll while he nurses to remind me that it's there alrighty.  I have done nothing, 100% nothing, towards making it go away.  I keep saying I'm going to go to the gym or to yoga or to pilates and maybe someday...when my to-do list is done and when I've caught up on all your blogs and I've written all the blog posts that are rattling around in my head I will.  Maybe I won't.  Maybe the fact that I can fit two fingers in the middle of my stomach where my muscles used to be will just be my reminder that I housed two precious, wonderful babies in that stomach.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to give you my favorite tip for buying toddler shoes: ebay. I buy them, and then I sell them, and then I buy some more. I can buy the best brands just a teeny bit used and resell them for a similar price, and it's really easy. You can do it. You would love it. We even buy clothes. Look for lots because you'll get these great lots of really cute boutique brands for CHEAP. And who cares if their clothes are completely new when they're in and out of them so quickly, right? (That's how I feel about it anyway).

I had to laugh when I read the "O" story because it sounds so familiar to our experiences. Our boy has very minimal sugar (we do muffins, but you've seen my recipes--very little sugar), so when he's exposed, he's a maniac! I don't recognize him. He can't sleep. I find myself thinking, Wow, if only it worked so well on me.

It's good to hear from you. :)

Inlocoparentis said...

We started Christopher in 2 day Montessori program and really do love it. We've seen a lot of growth in a lot of areas, but the main one is the focus on independence. He drinks from a non-sippy cup, puts on his own jacket and shoes, etc. It's cool. Even if you decide not to send the boys to a formal program (we're on the fence about whether we will continue too because of the cost - I can't imagine with two!), there some awesome Montessori resources that we've used to help us implement some of the methods at home. I like Waldorf too but there are no real Waldorf schools in our area (just a lady that does an unaccredited program out of her house - ack).

K J and the kids said...

Congratulations to your friend...and wishing her the best and most stress free pregnancy with only the happiest outcome.
Please keep us posted.

I am SO glad that those boys have both of you as parents. They need both personality types to balance things out.
It's absolutely natural to want the best for your boys.
Just know that you are their yin and their yang.
Just remember too...that she is an equal parent in this and when she brings home another 4 wheeler that the kids can ride out into the street not looking for cars in either direction....when you've discussed this over and over and over and forBADE her from doing it.
yip. she sometimes gets to win too.
just sayin' if your wife ever does this. and I don't know that she will. or that it's happened to me. any ways.
Good luck !

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Jane's Exchange for clothes? I've never been but my friend swears by it, and it's not far from you.

I meant to comment on your last post about the ab condition. My sister has the same thing after three kids, and from her research it seems like the only real solution is surgery. She looked into the exercises, but it seems like you have to do them every day forever, and even then they might not be so effective. And apparently regular ab workouts (pilates, crunches) can make it worse. Sorry if that's not helpful. I know she's been really upset about it and has looked into surgeons.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I love that the two of you are different - you will each bring different things to the kids.

You know my feelings on pre-school. Did you weigh in on that discussion last week?

And I think your idea of travel for a year or so with the kids is OUTSTANDING. I'm type A and still think so.... it is priceless. You can always make more money, but time is precious.

zeebah said...

The cost of preschool for two in this city is redonkulous. I don't know how people even do for 1 kid!! One thing they have where we are is neighbors who get together in groups of 5-7 kids and hire a teacher.

Not sure where you guys are, but if you're in Brooklyn, Monk's Trunk over in Prospect Heights is great... we just went last weekend and got a TON of stuff.

No kidding... dressing twins is so hard! You don't want them to be matchy-matchy, but they need to be equally awesome. Usually, we find a super cute style and they have one cute color combo and one pink/purple which we HATE.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of travel schooling, though its impossible with our lifestyle/jobs/etc. Montessori schools have incredible programs, as I'm sure you know. Having worked in schools and privately as a therapist, and having seen children in and from the Waldorf setting... I would suggest you really go and *look* at the schools several times before you make any decisions. Steiner has some great philosophies, though the implementation is more... interesting. Not trying to dissuade you - but check it out in practice first :)

Carey said...

We found a great Waldorf preschool... Luckily, not too pricey (considering we have 3!) I much prefer it to Montessori for this age group, more warm & fuzzy & free & creative - im big on the imagination component that Waldorf encouragesl... I felt strongly preschool should be free of letters & numbers & the overstimulation I see in all the schools I do counseling in. I agree with thatsalotofesses above, go visit. What looks or sounds good on paper can feel different in person (and the teachers play such a crucial part) I think both have their pluses & minuses (as with everything). Have you read Simplicity Parenting?

Next in Line said...

I think about school too. The schools in this area are not great and any program that is any good is by lottery. Have you looked at reggio emilia approach? I got to work in a program for a year that was educating early childhood educators. I learned a lot about this. I love it.