Monday, April 25, 2011

Should We Move to Florida?

What? You wanted the tissue IN the box? Oops.

My big boy Whoop Whoop pulling his new truck down the beach.
My new (steal at TJ Maxx!) bikini and post baby body.

Digging holes. Does it get any better?

Oh, it's busy around here. I don't think I've ever gone this long without a post.
So's bullet time:

  • I'm taking a writing class this semester and using my creative brain again. It's really nice, but time consuming.
  • Both boys are fully walking, W2 quite fast and he N.E.V.E.R stops.
  • I had started going to the gym about a month ago and was getting back into yoga and pilates. It was great and really helped my abs.
  • Now, I spend so much time running after two little guys going in opposite directions that if I go to the gym I can't do much else. workout is now twin running.
  • HN fractured her foot so I am solo for....I honestly have no idea.
  • The Florida trip was great. We thought it might be life-changing and it was. We came back seriously wondering how we are going to deal with these two kiddos in a small apartment. They loved being outside so much (and they are outside here twice a day usually).
  • The answer is murky. But we are thinking of moving. Uh, to Florida.
  • As in house buying, yard for playing, pool in the backyard, deck with a grill and (hybrid) SUV in the front. I'm a little in shock. I have never wanted these 'things'.
  • Having kids sure does change you and where you think about living!
  • The houses are so cheap right now it's mind blowing.
  • Chicken was offered a new role--also internal and is hand picking her new team. This role is also remote and so...
  • We can live in Florida on a NYC salary.
  • Outside is nice. Beach is nice. More family nearby is nice (4 aunties and her father part time).
  • We would have enough money to pay for private school and not worry about where or how our kids are going to get into school. The NYC preschool experience is one I wouldn't care if we missed.
  • Needless to say, we're not getting a murphy bed right now:)
  • For now, we are sucking it up on the sofa bed (which became a lot more comfortable when we got the price quote from the designers) and really weighing our options on what we what to do.
  • The lease is up Dec. 31, so we are not rushed.
  • Number 1 issue is space and quality of life.
  • We both love NYC so much, but we feel we will never make quite enough money to have the life we want here.
  • A wardrobe of shorts and flip flops sure is a lot cheaper:)
  • If I never have to experience winter again other than being on a ski trip, I would be one happy Puffer.

So, that's where we are. It's intense.
If any of you Floridians...I know you are out there...have any words of advice for us, we would really appreciate it. We have all the legal documents, health care proxy, wills, etc., would have second parent adoption completed and both of us are on the original birth certificate.

Now, I have to finish my lunch and edit some papers for my class tonight while the kids are still napping.
Miss you all.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reason # 548

My in-laws won't be babysitting any time soon:

FIL while pouring himself a glass of Malbec: "Santiago (formerly world's easiest baby of the BIL whom our boys were always compared to) really likes red wine. He likes beer and vodka, too, but red wine the best."
Me: Saying nothing and trying (failing) to conceal the completely horrified look that has clouded over my face.
FIL: "We let him dip his fingers in our drink and like it off."
MIL: "Hee Hee"
Me: Tight smile. No comment. Just don't say anything...and thinking, 'and that's why we would rather you come visit us and we won't be coming to visit you or leaving you in charge of the kids anytime soon. Perhaps....never.'

Santiago is 15 months old. Seriously? I mean, I get that they are alcoholics and they need to get their drink on and that's just the way it is. But really? Your grandson?
I am horrified they think this is perfectly fine...and FUNNY.

On a brighter note, they are making more of an effort of coming down to visit the twins now that I've made it pretty clear we're not spending hundreds of dollars to rent a car, pack everyone and everything up and go to a non-baby proofed house with 2 deadly staircases and nothing to do but be on high alert so the kids don't die. Not happening anytime soon.
They are retired. They can drive. They can visit us. Where we can monitor the 'funny' cocktail hour games.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

How Long Did It Take?

  1. For your period to return after giving birth (for breast feeding mamas)? Going on 15 months now...still no sign of AF. Not that I'm complaining...
  2. For your tatas to return to their previous size or rather, new shrunken deflated size, after weaning from breast feeding? I still haven't bought any new bras and I just can't sink money into expensive pieces of clothing that will (could?) be rendered useless soon.
  3. For your body temperature to adjust? Before I got pregnant I was always cold. Then, I was carrying around a nice heater for 8 months so I figured it was the babies. Then I gave birth and was still not cold and I figured it was the hormones. Then I continued to breast feed and figured it was still the hormones. I couldn't even wear sweaters this past winter because I was too hot and normally I can only wear sweaters. Now, I'm weaning--BFing 3 x day--and I'm still pretty warm. Not hot. Not like that. Just, a whole lot warmer than ever before. I look around on the playground and realize I'm the only one who has removed her jacket. And folks, I'm a teeny thing. Anyone else experience this? Did it ever change or is this my new normal?? Am I going to hate summer?? I've never been 'not cold' unless I'm near the equator.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sleep, Revisited

As many of you may remember (or not), we had to stop sleeping in our bed with the boys as it was too disrupting. Grunter is a very early riser, but he's not really 'up'. He stirs, squawks a bit and then goes back to sleep (4am-5am).
However, if he see us in the bed (or smells me?) he cries out and that's it. He's UP. That doesn't work so well in the mommy fatigue department, so we hightailed it to the living room sofa bed. We got a full night's sleep for the first time, but no one is ever going to call this pull out sofa "comfortable". However, when you are desperate, you find yourself doing things you wouldn't normally do!

Then we went to SF for a week. Where I slept in a real bed in a bedroom that I shared with no one but my wife. That hasn't ever happened since the twins were born. It was nice. Really nice. I slept so well.
Back in NYC, I deceived myself into thinking we could try it again in our bed with the boys. Nope. Back to the couch. I decided to invest in a memory foam topper and see if that made it bearable. Success! Well, sort of. It's a lot 'more' comfortable and we get 8 hours of sleep but it's not a long term solution. Also, it's too think to fold up in the sofa.

So now, on top of:
  • moving the ottoman/coffee table
  • taking all of the sofa cushions off
  • unfolding the sofa
  • making the bed with sheets/blankets
  • remembering to get the pillows from our own bed before we put the boys to bed
We have to lug the memory foam topper--it weighs about 15 lbs--back and forth between the living room and our bedroom (where it stays during the day on our bed, adding further insult!).
It is seriously ridiculous and I think probably something that only New Yorker's do! We could've been an idea for a Seinfeld episode.
And....of course, put it all away again every morning.
On the bright side, it's the first time in 10 years that I know the bed is going to be made every day (Chicken is not such a good bed-maker-upper).

Meanwhile, the kids are sleeping great. They are down to one nap during the day now--around 12:15--and they only sleep for one and 1/2 hours, but they are excellent night sleepers. They go down around 6:30-45 and we get them up at 7am. We have our entire night free and they sleep through TV, cooking, hair dryer, sirens (outside), music. We had people over for dinner Friday and Saturday and everyone remarked how incredible it was that the babies never woke up. And it got a little loud! So, I am so happy that we are "winning" on that one.

We've been toying with the idea of getting a murphy bed in the living room and giving them our entire bedroom. This would mean getting rid of our bed, dresser and huge desk to free up the room for their play area. We would have a custom built unit made for the living room where their play area is now. It would include cabinets, dresser drawers and a desk. We've already been working with a studio to draw up plans and get a rough estimate of pricing....but we're not committed as it's an extremely expensive option. But, crazy as it sounds, it's a cheaper option than getting a 2 bedroom.
We don't need our own bedroom, I just need a comfortable bed! I do want the boys to have their own bedroom and I think this is a way to make that happen. We could use our tax refund money and just do it. Decisions, decisions.

All we know is that we love where we live. We are not ready to move somewhere else and we are trying to find a way to make it all fit and work.

One night we wondered if the topper would be just as comfortable on the ground--that way we wouldn't have to pull out the sofa every night. We have the bright idea that the foam tiles in the boy's play area would be 'padding' enough. After kicking a few toys and tossing and turning, we lasted about 10 minutes and pulled out the sofa.
I can't even believe we were seriously considering sleeping inside the play area every night. City living at its best.

What's Stressing You Out Today?

Yesterday morning I was in a children's clothing store with the boys and I ran into my downstairs neighbor, a twin mom of 3-year-old boys (also living in a one bedroom!). After saying hello's, the first thing she asked me was, "So, what's stressing you out today?"
It took me a minute to process what she said and I thought for a second, smiled brightly and said, "Nothing!"
We talked a bit and then as I was walking home, the impact hit me. I'm pretty sure every time she sees me I'm stressed about something and talking about it.
Embarrassing, yes...but also sad. It made me sad to know that I've been that stressed out for so long. Happy to know I'm not (at this moment)

Things are going well, really, really well. The boys and I are getting into a new routine of sorts. I take them on more outings than ever before and we get to the park at least once if not twice a day (weather permitting of course). I'm getting things DONE. My level of productivity is amazing my wife and she is overjoyed to have "me" back. I don't know when I lost "me" but it's been far too long.
Chicken and I are looking forward to Spring/Summer arriving and have already made out a list of weekend activities we'd like to do with the twins. I can't wait for some warmer weather.
In fact, we couldn't wait and bought tickets to Florida for next week!

Chicken's grandma lives on the east coast of Florida and is steadily going downhill. We visited her at this time last year and it really cheered her up, so we are going to stay with her for 4 nights. It will be 'work' as we not only have to cook, clean and take care of ourselves but also her to an extent. But that's OK. We can handle this now.

One thing that Chicken and I have realized is that we really held on to this memory of our babies when they were newborns--well, our newborn phase lasted about 6 months, so it was a long time, longer than most--and we got bogged down in that memory. That haze of fussy, colicly, refluxy, bad sleeper babies.
It's amazing how much they've changed and how good they are now. We are really lucky with the way everything turned out.
They turned 14 months last week and everyday they stun me with what they are doing and how much they understand. It seems like they pick up something new everyday at this age.

So, we will go to the beach and spend some time at the pool and see how they do in the water this time around. I hope they love it as much as we do. Either way, it will be nice to have a break from this too-cool-not-quite-spring weather we are having here in NYC. It will be great to have them walk around barefoot in the grass and sand and just be outdoor boys.

Nothing's stressing me out's all good.

I did a 14 month old photo shoot. Funny to see it frame by frame:)

This face is a new one for Whoop Whoop. Cracks me up every time. He's holding a plastic coaster. I keep them on the table beside the couch and every morning when they are BFing, at some point they have to crawl to the side and 'get' their coasters, then they come back and keep BFing each with a coaster in each hand. Aren't kids crazy funny??

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dreamin' of Manarola

Ruby's post about her upcoming trip to the Cinque Terre in Italy sent me running to look through old photos.
Ah, the gorgeous memories.
It's gray and rainy and cold here today. Grunter is in a MOOD and I have errands to run in yucky weather. Ah well, someday we'll go to Italy again.

That view of the sea, which we had while laying down in our bed, can be found by booking a room here. (and yes, they have kitchens).