Tag Archives: motherhood

Tubes Are the New Norm

19 Oct

We were at MGH at o’dark thirty this morning with our 1.5 year old son Sam.  He has had 10 ear infections in his life and partial hearing loss.  As any mother would be, I was a little worked up over the notion of a young person being put under.  But was calm knowing that it was a minor routine procedure.  Everything went well and we were home by 10am with a relatively back to normal toddler.

The part I found very interesting was that we were with four other families during the pre-op and post-op.  One of the father’s little girl was three and born at 32 weeks with Downs.  This was their fourth time at MGH to get tubes.  He was telling us that she doesn’t speak and ‘they’ say she can’t hear.  But he said, ‘she hears me.  she comes when I say her name from across the room.’  He went onto explain that she wears glasses but he thinks she sees everything.  And if music plays she is a dancing fool!  He said, “she’s normal to me.”

Most times when I hear a story like this I scold myself for too much self pity, but this time I didn’t do that.  I was just happy to hear his perspective.  He seemed to be a great dad working two jobs to support his normal family.  I was grateful for it all.

On a side note, one of the father’s in our group wouldn’t engage with the aforementioned father because he was wearing a NY Yankees shirt. But later he broke down.  It was a good bonding moment for all of us to poke fun and to find out why he wore such a shirt.  He explained he was from Dominican and lived in NYC for a long time.  If he hadn’t added that he liked the Lakers and Jets, all would have been forgiven.  We milked the unimportant chatter while we waited anxiously to comfort our children.

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Memory Lane is Going Digital

21 Jul

We are taking a walk down memory lane as we prepare our household for a move to a new dwelling in a month.  Well, Dan is running, I am crawling.  It is so hard to part ways with the multiple spiral notebooks with all my to do lists in them.  Reviewing them for the first time since they went in a drawer when the last page was used, is fun.  Now what will I do?  I use Evernote.  I update the to do list electronically wiping clean all record of what has been accomplished.  The next time I move I can expect to go more quickly, right?

I also cleaned out my stationery bureau. Yes, I have an entire bureau dedicated to stationery, note cards, address books, holiday cards we’ve received (only the ones with photos), invitations we’ve sent, and random stickers.  I think I have an entire bureau full because since I was a child I have been obsessed with paper.   I collected note cards and stationery for a long time, but of course now I use mostly social media and emails to correspond, so I have lots of paper just looking for an excuse.  I will not throw it away.  I will milk the opportunities to send appreciation. Thank you notes are always handwritten.

Today I received an e-mail from FineStationery.com.  It made me pause, will there be stationery stores for my girls when they are 10?  Will they save their allowance to buy paper and stickers?  The answer is sadly – probably not.

Next on the agenda is all the children’s artwork – how much is enough?  I did read an article where people take photos of the artwork and create a Shutterfly book.  That may be more my speed.

Going to bed

1 Jun

Written in the last 13 minutes of May 2011

Sometimes going to bed is too much trouble.  Wouldn’t it be great if on days when you needed to just keep going you could skip the whole night part – just swoop right into the next day feeling refreshed and energized without missing a beat?  I have been trying to catch up this evening and got carried away on all things digital.  It’s now 11:47 and I am trying to shut my brain off, except I can’t.  I also have a 4 1/2 year old in my bed because she fell out of hers.  It is only the second or third time she has done that in two years, so we are thankful.  But she was really startled this evening so we shuffled her into our bed about 30 minutes ago. I’m not anxious to compete for a piece of the king size bed…she is tiny but takes up so much space.  I am milking this quiet time in between the night and morning.

Milk the Happy and Healthy moments

8 May

Mother’s Day is more special to me every year – especially as my family has grown against the odds.  I now have three beautiful thriving children.  I also have family and friends and a great nanny who support us.  We are fortunate enough to afford a nice life with clothing, shelter, food and fun.  I count my blessings everyday day, sometimes more often.

Digitas, my second home, has been working on promoting Cradles to Crayons these last few months.  The team produced a wonderful video to get out the word about the organization who takes care of the more than 305,000 children in MA who need assistance.  Here is the link to a 3 minute video, it’s well worth the time. You can also friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.  We are currently working on a collection of goods drive, so if you want me to bring anything in get it to my house by Monday night.  You can also drive the stuff to their collection facility in Brighton.

I am also thinking about military families.  I grew up an Air Force brat, my mom had me when she was 21 and moved to Texas two months after I was born.  She didn’t have a support system or very much money – but my parents had a lot of love.  I am thankful she was too young to know the difference and living in a time where that was enough.

However today’s military families are working hard to make ends meet and to raise their children when the moms and dads are gone for long assignments in the Middle East.   My thoughts are with them.

My Mother’s Day thoughts are also consumed with four strong women who are elderly, ill and grappling with the last stages of life.  The struggle is that we know we all die, but it’s how that happens and when that is hard to watch and hard to do gracefully.

So Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who is happy or struggling or healthy or ill.  We need to milk the Happy and Healthy moments for those who can’t do it themselves.

The days are long but the years are short (anonymous)

9 Mar

My children  Maddie and Sammy turn one on Saturday. When I step back to reflect on the year, I have a number of emotions:

amazed – that we all made it through the year unscathed (let’s not count the five ear infections they both had, croup, the flu and numerous colds)

startled – I can’t believe the year is over, wasn’t it dragging on forever just last month?

happy – I love my long-awaited for and much dreamed of  family

sad – that I wished any of the time to go by faster; there were times that I wanted to wave a wand and just get to age four

surprised – that I seem to have less mommy guilt, than I did three and half years ago when my daughter turned one.

awakened – to milk  joy from every single minute we all have together

inspired – to take more photos and videos and to chronicle milestones more aggressively

grateful – to the village that helped our family during this last year (lots neighbors who made us dinner, grandmother who lived with us for the first two months, grandparents who became permanent fixtures until they left for Florida for the winter, a benefactor who gave me all her twin gear, co-workers who dealt with my sleep deprivation, friends who showered us with love and gifts, Midnight Moms who got me through the first three months, our nanny who is now a member of our family and of course most importantly to the random people who came up to me (as I pushed a ginormous stroller with two small babies) and ask if they are twins.)

Walking stairs brings up issues

25 Feb

It’s hard to walk the stairs…

..while texting, emailing, surfing or talking on the phone

…with a winter coat, mittens, scarf, starbucks, umbrella, big ole boots, a purse and a computer bag (I am still carrying the laptop and iPad, I have to figure out how to stop this)

…and what I discovered today…skinny jeans.  The good news is that I fit into my version of skinny jeans, the bad news is that it adds a new challenge to walking up the nine flights of stairs.

…Oh yeah, that was another new revelation today – no office building labels the 13th floor – so going from 8 to 18 is not ten flights, but rather nine flights.  This “ah ha” was the most disturbing of all.

I will continue to milk the brief alone time and power up the nine flights while only using my iPhone for music.

Milking Time

24 Feb

I have been struggling for a while about finding the time to work out. I have always worked out in the morning, but after having my twins morning is the time for precious sleep.  I get up at 6am so I can get the early train to work in order to get home for dinner time with the family.  So working out in the morning means very early.  I know people do it.  I have been talking to many people to work up the motivation and conviction to do it.

So this past Tuesday I got up at 5am and did 45 minutes of Power Yoga in my kitchen/playroom/livingroom.  I listened to a podcast of a yoga instructor in Chicago, but he was trained in Cambridge by Baron Baptiste so it is the same style of yoga I love.  It felt great after.

Today I did it again.  Today was harder.  It is hard to stay focused. I miss the heat of the yoga studio.  But there isn’t time to drive to a studio. So I’m sure I’ll get used to this.

But the other way I am milking time is walking stairs.  At work I get off at the 8th floor and walk up to 18th where my office is located.  My friend at work @soniachung turned me onto this.  It is energizing.  My goal is to do that three times a day – so far I have only made it twice a day.  I should start scheduling meetings with Sonia and hold them in the stairwell.  That is the easiest way to do the stairs – talking to someone the whole way up.  The alternative way I have been doing this is listening to music very loud on my iPod.  Lady Gaga, Ricky Martin and Ozzy are good for that.

So I am not working out like I used to, but I am milking the time I can to squeeze it in.  I’m ok with this for now.

Making baby food is…

8 Jan

Fun

Rewarding

Time Consuming

Nutritious

Therapeutic

Affordable

Saturday’s two creations consisted of 7 vegetable bolognese with tiny star pasta AND strawberries, apple, kale and rice puree.  I did the bolognese during the morning nap and the fruit puree during afternoon nap.  Since my children don’t power nap, they spent a little time in their cribs “talking” so I could actually finnish the prep for the freezer.

I am thankful to Annabel Karmel for her recipes.  I have made a lot of them so now I am into inventing my own and using her’s as a basic guide.

I know I could appear to be a spokesperson for the Vitamix 5200 but I promise I’m not.  But that is my savior in this baby food making adventure.  It’s really easy and efficient.  So it makes the time spent much shorter than doing it by hand or by a traditional food processor.

The first photo shows the strawberries, apples and kale cooking.  Second photo is the brown rice added to the puree (after the Vitamix) and the last photo is the storage/freezing process.

Wonderful Vacation

4 Jan

I have had a 17 day “break” but why do I feel like I am starting a vacation?
We had a wonderful time with family. I already miss my children. I feel terrible that we won’t be starting the day together.
But on this first day back to the office I feel like a different person. I have jewelry on. I put on purple eyeshadow, not sure if this is ever ok, but it seemed like a special occasion as I was getting ready this morning.

We ferberized my daughter last night – again. She went through a 14 day stint of waking up exactly 45 minutes after being put to bed for the night. She wouldn’t go back to sleep until we wrestled her into submission and let her sleep on our shoulders and then in our bed. It was not good hearing her scream at the top of her lungs knowing she was standing in her crib shaking the side and at any moment about to wake up her twin brother in the crib next to hers. But she resigned and went to sleep.

My other daughter had been trying to sleep in our bed off and on as she said it was more comfortable; so I brought up a down comforter from the basement and made a special deal about it. Miraculously she didn’t have to get a drink of water, go to the bathroom, tell us a secret, read one more book or tell us about a nightmare.

After the bedtime rituals we got to watch two shows (Parenthood and Grey’s.) In full disclosure my husband didn’t watch Grey’s with me. He made our daughter’s lunch, made his coffee grounds in the Vitamix and then retired to our bedroom to watch the Celtics.

I am all for milking long vacations, if for no other reason but to find comfort in the routine and order of the everyday life.

Milk It 2

5 Oct

The inspiration for this blog name is summed up below.  But the blog will take many different roads beyond motherhood, as I realize the phrase Milk It applies to a lot of things and attitudes.

For my first child I nursed for seven months and had stockpiled enough breast milk so she never had formula until she was nine months old. I had twins on March 12th, a boy and a girl.  Breastfeeding them was  a bit more of a challenge, first of all there were two hungry babies and second of all my body was four years older.  Eventually the milk came in and everyone was happy.  But everyday and every night it was up to me to provide sustenance for them.  It was very stressful, although I don’t remember the early days that well, I just remember the mantra of day by day.  My husband didn’t want me to continue, he saw how tired I was and wanted me to take better care of myself.  But I persevered because I was still going to have to get up in the middle of the night with them, so making a bottle is not easier.  In my mind I kept thinking that my daughter got the benefits of being breastfed and she will always have the benefit of being first born.  The least I could do was try to make this as fair as possible out of the gate.

So, here I am almost seven months in and I know the time is almost up.  I lament the impending end.  I love breastfeeding for many reasons.

1.) It’s good for the babies – protects against allergies, obesity and other health related issues

2.) It’s good bonding between mother and babies

3.) Lower’s the mother’s risk of breast cancer and type 2 diabetes

4.) Cheaper than formula and with twins I can tell you we go through a lot of formula (the babies are on formula during the day and sometimes a cocktail depending on how much I’m able to pump during the time I’m at work or traveling.)

5.) WEIGHT LOSS – I am back to my pre-baby weight. But I suspect a lot of that is loss of muscle.  It’s difficult to workout when you don’t sleep.

6.) Clear skin

7.) Longer hair – although it is falling out at an alarming rate, there is a lot of it growing to cover the loss

8.) Less work at night, you don’t have to make bottles (Now I know what you’re thinking, they are 6.5 months, why are they still getting up? Well, I can’t tell you why, I can tell you that they just are.)

9.) May boost intelligence of the baby, not the mother – sleep deprivation puts a stop to that for sure

10.) As a working mom, it is the one thing that can eliminate guilt for leaving your children with someone that’s not you for long stretches of time. As soon as they see or smell your scent they get excited and can’t wait to nurse.

So I lament.  I wonder if they will still be excited to see me walk in the door at night if they are just going to get a bottle.  I wonder how much weight I’ll put on before I can work out on a regular basis.  Luckily I have sizes 2-10 in my closet.  I know the babies have received their fair share of benefits from this.  I know they are fine with food and formula.  So mostly it’s about me and my benefits. It’s about not worrying about what I eat.  It’s about the bonding.  It’s about the long hair.  So forgive me but I’m going to milk it for as long as I can.