Monthly Archives: October 2011

OW and the Fluish Weekend

OW and I had big plans for this past weekend. We had men’s night/women’s night out with his church (I’m not a member but they graciously welcome me to all of their events). We had his law school reunion picnic Saturday morning, and we planned to go to the state fair Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, OW woke up Friday morning with a fever and body aches. Our whole weekend was shot.

I felt badly for him, and tried to take care of him, as much as he let me, but I feel an odd sort of resentment. It’s not resentment directed toward him, exactly. It’s just that I was really looking forward to having some family fun time. Ever since the babies were born six months ago, it seems like every weekend involves doing work around the house (the nursery still isn’t done) or OW either wanting to do nothing but vegetate or having to go in to the office. I was really excited about doing real family stuff. The kind of stuff real families do.

Instead, I spent the weekend bringing him Tylenol and trying to convince him to eat and drink plenty of fluids (neither of which he did). And I sort of resent it.

Because

I TOLD him to get the flu shot. I TOLD him he had to do it now that we have the babies. I TOLD him to do it at the beginning of September.

All-mighty, All-knowing OW rolled his eyes at me. And now we’ve had a ruined weekend that we can’t get back.

Whew. That just sort of burst out.

So I guess my resentment is directed toward him more than I thought it was. I shouldn’t be so petty, but I’m alone with the twins for a minimum of 12 hours a day, every day and it’s hard. I know he works really hard but he gets to eat lunch every day. He can eat alone if he wants to, or with friends, or at a park, or in a restaurant. He speaks to grownups every day and doesn’t walk around soaked in someone else’s bodily fluids.

He’s really helpful in the mornings and evenings on weekdays. It’s the weekends I really hate. I often get the feeling he thinks he should have the weekend off. Well, me too Buddy.

I know all of this is the age-old gripe that moms have. I can’t write about it in a new, fresh, witty way. I’m just annoyed and wanted to hang my dirty laundry right out on the Internet’s clothesline. So there!

P.S. On this day, exactly six months ago, I gave birth to two beautiful, tiny, human beings. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s only been six months, and sometimes I can’t believe it’s only been six months.

Jelly & Peanut Butter

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Just Write, #1

Some of the bloggers I admire (like Steph from Adventures in Babywearing) participate in a writing exercise called Just Write. I thought I’d try my hand at it, though I can’t live up to most of these incredible writers.

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I wake earlier than usual; it’s still dark outside. There is a baby on either side of me and I’m afraid to move, fearing I might wake one or both of them. OW is shaving, showering, dressing in a rush because he has to be to court early. The boys are sweating through their footie pajamas, having soaked up the heat of my body. Their faces are relaxed in a way that only a baby’s can be; the tips of their pink tongues sticking out, their mouths dream-sucking.

I’m still in a groggy half-asleep half-awake state and I feel oddly content. It’s odd because I usually wake up dreading the 12 to 13 hours ahead of me that I will be alone with the babies. This morning I feel a little trickle of happiness about this impromptu family of mine.

The Today show is on and OW watches the weather report as he brushes his teeth. Sunny and 75 degrees today, perhaps a few showers tomorrow. Peanut Butter stirs and opens one eye. He gives me an open-mouthed grin and then nuzzles against me. I twist around a bit to give him a little morning susu and he idly pats my breast while he nurses.

OW brings me my coffee, my pills, and the boys’ vitamins as he does every morning, rushed or not. He kisses the babies, kisses me, and reminds me to feed the dogs, who are circling his feet in anticipation of a goodbye treat.

Jelly is now awake and flapping his arms and legs excitedly and I make funny faces at him while Ann Curry talks about a missing child. I try not to listen because it makes my heart ache and I don’t want to spoil this moment. I know we have a just a short window during which everyone is happy and relaxed. I want to relish it, to make it last as long as possible, to be completely present.

Of Rainbows and Perfection

We’re finally finishing up the nursery, nearly six months after the twins’ birth. It almost seems silly to me because I really have no intention of throwing them in there and shutting the door, but it will be fun to have it decorated.

We’re using a Noah’s Ark theme and decided we would paint a giant rainbow on the wall. I had a very clear image in my mind of what this rainbow would look like upon completion. My imagination doesn’t often translate very well into reality, because my imagination has a lot more tools and skill than I do.

OW and I discussed, planned and researched. We decided we would trace out the ribbons of color with chalk and then paint, fading each color into the next. I searched and searched for pictures or instructions for how to paint a perfect gradient using tempera on sheetrock.  Alas, I could find nothing that really fit, so I tried to come up with a plan using cobbled together bits of information from various websites.

We’re finished but for two more ribbons and I have to admit that I am less than pleased with the results. The fading from one color to the next has not materialized the way I’d hoped. In fact, it looks to me like we just weren’t sure where one color should start and the other end. OW decided to override my techniques for the gradient process and barreled forward with his own. And I hate it. And I think it sucks. And I think it looks like shit.

There, I said it. I could not possibly say that to him because he’s so proud of it. I’m nervous even writing it. What if he somehow sees this? Of course, I don’t know whether my plan would have worked any better and he’s much more likely to be right about something than I am, so I acquiesced.

This business of having a firm picture in my mind of the end result of potential projects causes me to procrastinate about a lot of things. I know I haven’t the skill or knowledge to achieve the desired result, but nothing less than perfect will do. So I just don’t do.

Is this practicality or an excuse to avoid potential failure? I hate rejection. HateHateHateHate. Failing to complete a project in a way that I find acceptable means I have failed myself and therefore am rejecting my efforts and myself.

Truthfully, left up to me, the rainbow would never have gotten painted at all because I would be too afraid to start. So is it really as crappy as I think it is? Is a crappy rainbow better than no rainbow? How far below perfection is acceptable?

What price do we pay for never even trying?

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Dermatological Vanity

I’ve been avoiding going to the dermatologist for… well, more years than I care to admit. I grew up in South Florida, a bike ride away from the beach. My girlfriends and I would go out with baby oil on our skin in a desperate attempt to get the bronzed look that was so popular. My best friend and I were both cursed blessed with very, very fair skin that burned very quickly and didn’t brown much, if at all. We never stopped trying though, even going as far as skipping school to climb out on the roof of her house to burn our bodies to a crisp.

Nearly thirty years later I realize that this was foolishness of the highest order, but that doesn’t do me any good now. My body and even my head is covered with weird looking skin things of varying colors, sizes and shapes. I have dreaded going to the dermatologist because I was afraid of a lengthy process of biopsies and painful removal procedures.

OW has been pushing me to go, especially since we reached our insurance policy’s out of pocket maximum for the year with the NICU bills. So I took a deep breath. And then I took another. And another. Many deep breaths later, I called and made an appointment.

I was nervous and then had to wait for a full hour after my appointment to be seen. This did not ease my anxiety. I was told that I would have a thorough full-body screening and expected it to take an hour or so. Imagine my shock when the entire scan took less than five minutes. Most of those weird, funky-colored, misshapen things are just seborrheic keratoses and aren’t even caused by the sun. They are hereditary and completely benign to my physical being, if not to my ego.

I have a number of red bumps on my scalp that also worry me. The doctor said they were hemangiomas and were mostly harmless (by the way, if you Google this term you will see some pretty horrifying pictures of them on children. Mine are on my scalp only and are the size of a pencil eraser). One is pretty large (the size of a nickel) and looks different from the others. She said they could remove and biopsy it or just remove it. Apparently the difference is whether insurance covers it.

At the last minute I asked her to look at a very small pimple-looking thing on my jawline. I had, in fact, thought it was a pimple when it first appeared a few months ago. I even squeezed the life out of it, to no avail. Now, months later, it is still there and hasn’t changed at all, so I figured it was just an old lady thing. This turned out to be the thing that the doctor most wanted to examine further. She decided to cut it out and biopsy it. Yikes! She used a local anesthetic, so of course I didn’t feel it. I have been afraid to look at it because I don’t know how deep nor how big the wound is. It was apparently bigger and deeper than it appeared on the surface, so we shall see what happens! She said I should expect the results in about two weeks.

As for my icky mole things, they are a cosmetic issue. The doctor called them barnacles and that’s a good description. I hate them. She can remove them via freezing, but I will have to pay cash for this.

Unless.

She hinted around (and then outright told me) that if I had a particular issue with any of them, like itching, bleeding, etc. insurance would pay for their removal. Wink, wink.

I don’t feel comfortable with lying about something I KNOW is just an issue of vanity. Isn’t this one of the reasons healthcare costs so much in the U.S.? I have at least 14 that are in high visibility areas. It would cost me $185 to have them removed. Back in the DINK days I wouldn’t have thought much about spending that amount of money. I’ve spent more on a pair of shoes. Now is different though. $185 is more than a week’s groceries for my now-tight budget. Should I spend that for vanity’s sake?

Finding the line for this sort of thing has gotten really hard. How much in the way of niceties should we sacrifice now that we have one income and children to support? The money wouldn’t break us, but I feel guilty about the idea of spending it on myself. Does this mean I’ve become a real mom (again)?

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.