Wednesday, June 12, 2013


My life is full of constant change.  Before the twins were born and before TTC, everything seemed to stay the same and while routines are a must for our family, change is inevitable.  As the boys grow, I have to grow too and adjust.  I have to remind myself of this often.  And it happens so fast, I usually miss the last routine, and the reason I had it in the first place. 

1.  Childcare

The daycare center the twins attend is charging a hefty additional fee for the summer.  I was not aware of this fee when I enrolled them and while I admit there is a tiny (so-tiny-not-worthy-for-the-table-of-contents) line in the Family Handbook, it does not say what the summer fee actually is. The summer camp cost for 18-month-olds to age three at my center is an additional $125 per kid and for kids older than four, it's $225.  There was a letter on the boys cubbies at pick-up one day last week saying it's due in two weeks and not optional.  My boys are too young to attend field trips so this charge is for in-house events.  When I asked the director about it, she said they plan to bring a bounce house in and have a reptile guy come in.  Big whip. 

I have two problems with this:  1.) Short of the blurb in the handbook, I didn't know about the fee.  It was never a discussion during my lengthy conversations with the director back in November and December before we enrolled.  She said, "We don't really think about it when it's so far away".  How helpful.  2.) The amount is excessive. If it was $50, I would probably be slightly annoyed but would pay it and forget it.  But $125?  I asked around on Facebook and found out some centers charge no fee up to maybe $50 for this age.  One friend pays nothing additional for her 3 year-old and pays $75 for her 7 year-old. 

Fortunately for me, my awesome sitter saw my FB post and offered to sit with the boys for the summer full-time!  She had been part-time before they started daycare and had not previously wanted full-time, not to mention, I could not have afforded to pay her full-time.  She offered to watch them for less than what I pay daycare.  Without the summer fee, it will likely be a wash cost-wise since I will have to provide breakfast, lunch and snacks now but still a savings overall.  This will be an adjustment for sure but I'm looking forward to it.  Since I work at home, I'll get more time with the boys and won't need to leave the house to take them to school.  They get a lot out of daycare learning wise and socially, so that's a small drawback but they'll be back there (or another center possibly) in September.   Awesome Sitter starts on June 24th. 

2.  Physical Support

As I've previously mentioned, the twins' only grandparent, my mother, moved six hours away in February.  The adjustment has been okay.  We have video chats at least once a week.  These calls are mostly great with her only saying a few silly things to the twins like, "Do you need a hug?" (really) and I think the boys look forward to the calls.  Her departure left me with less physical support and I'm losing even more later this year.  Awesome Sitter is heading south this fall and Fabulous D and her family are heading there too in December or January.  I've known these changes are coming and I'm really sad.  Selfishly, I want them all here for me and the twins.  They are our second family.  Fabulous D's boys and my boys are half-brothers and my boys ADORE her boys.  They talk about them non-stop. 

Having Awesome Sitter and Fabulous D nearby gives me sense of security for emergencies or sickness.  Knowing they won't be here has given me anxiety.  I really have no one else I can call in a pinch.  None of my other close friends live close by or are in a position where they could help.  Short of knocking on a neighbor's door for big emergencies, I'm stuck.

Now, before I get blasted for choosing to be a SMC, let me say, I know.  I know it was my choice to do this on my own.  It is my responsibility to line up help and I will do that.  This blog is my place to document my fears and anxieties and get support and advice from my blog readers.  That's why I'm writing about this now. 

I'll figure it out.  Like I always do. 

3. Joining

I've been toying with the idea of joining a local division of Parents Without Partners.  They have lots of events and after paying the $40 annual membership to PWP, admission fees to lots of places when attended as a group are discounted.  The group goes on hikes and camps out and has picnics.  Now, more than ever (see item 2 above), I need more people in our lives and short of my readers, I know no other single parents.  I don't actually have a lot of friends with small children in general and zero single ones. 

The initial meet and greet to join the group is at a coffee shop each month, kids welcomed.  Okay, but I have two toddlers who often want to go in two different directions. I might be able to park them in chairs and let them color (I probably will try), but me running around a coffee shop chasing after one or both doesn't sound too doable.  Not yet anyway.  This ranks up there with me taking them by myself to the public library and even the park.  If it's a big park, forget it.  I just can't. 

It is getting easier but really, I find this age to be harder than infanthood! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

More on Potty Training

First off, thank you for the supportive comments on my last post.  I appreciate it!

I wanted to elaborate on the potty training.  The boys occassionally use the potty at school.  In fact, the Dynamo actually POOPED on the big potty at daycare on his second day there.  Seriously.  And he was only 2 years and 4 months old at the time.  At home, both boys sometimes use the little potties I have set up in our bathrooms.  We talk about it all the time; sometimes they're into it, sometimes not.  The Dynamo has figured out that it's a good stalling tactic at bedtime.  I don't push it, scold, or reward short of big applause and high fives.  I probably should start to work on it more and find a reward system that works for us.  With Sweet Pototoe's allergies, we don't really eat sweets but stickers might be a good option.  (If anyone has any good recommendations for a sticker chart or other non-food reward system, I'm all ears!)

It's true - I can be lazy when it comes to potty training.  We have a night time routine and when I add the potty time in, it bumps our routine by up to 45 minutes.  And, I don't know if it is because they're boys, but they could care less if their diaper needs to be changed.  They rarely tell me.  They don't like the actual changing of the diaper and I do talk about how they won't have to have it changed when they use the potty, but unless it's a major blowout, and sometimes not even then, they don't ask to have it changed.

I do like their teacher but he ticked me off (obviously) with the lazy comment.  I told him what we do at home and he said "parents are lazy" right after I told him clearly meaning that I was.  He does know that I am a SMC and has said more than once how he thinks it's great how I became a parent.  He tells the boys all the time in front of me how their mommy works hard.   

He also thinks every kid should be potty trained by age 3.  I have a toddler book that says boys and girls are different and the average age for boys is 39 months.  I think my boys are on track.  Honestly, I hope they are completely diaper free soon and I will step up my efforts at home but please, don't call me lazy.  Or any mother for that matter.  That's just rude.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

May Mayhem

Wow, May was a crazy month. A few of the highlights:
  • First ever school pictures!  Not crazy about how the photographer combed the Dynamo's hair but otherwise I am hugely impressed.  I'm lucky to get them both looking at me at the same time let alone also smiling!

  • Local zoo trip. It gets better for the twins every time we go.

  • A full week of Jury Duty. Meaning I was picked to sit on an actual jury. I had it in my head I would be excused the first day for some reason. I have to say as much as I was dreading the process - driving into the city during rush hour, parking, paying for parking, etc - I really found it to be quite interesting. Fortunately (fortunately?) it was an attempted robbery and sexual assault case as opposed to the THREE murder trials going on at the same time. OH and they were filming the new Spiderman movie in my city the same week. Streets were closed and traffic altered but I got a few peeks of film making. And how cool is it that a big movie was filmed in our city? They changed it up to make it appear to be NYC with car chases and crashes. 

  • Mother's Day - The boys made these for me: 

  • Day Out with Thomas and His Friends event. The Dynamo wouldn't ride the train once we were seated but it was still a fun time. 

  • This happened: 

  • Our own jungle!

    Just after a storm passed through, I and a lot of my neighbors heard and felt these trees come down.  I was sure something hit the house!  Nothing did but it scared the shit out of me. It happened at about 9:30 PM and the boys were asleep.  Neighbors came from across the street to see my entire back yard encompassed with fallen trees.  Turns out a rotted Poplar tree fell at the base and took out part of my big Sugar Maple.  These trees outline the border of my back yard as do all the ones in the back.  One of my neighbors cut up the trees, took some of the good wood for his fireplace and he and his kids dragged the remains to the curb for our Village to pick up.  I'm so lucky to have such great neighbors.  Of course, now every time it rains and/or is windy, I wonder what's going to fall next.

  • Memorial Day - I took the boys solo to the Memorial Day Parade. This was a little victory for me as they are at the point where they don't want to sit in a stroller (or most any other place) for long periods of time. I managed to get their wagon in the trunk of my car with the handle pushed through the pass-through opening in the back seat (between their car seats). A bungee cord held the trunk down enough for me to see out the back window. It worked well. I wish I had tried it sooner - there were lots of trips where that wagon would have come in handy! But now I know for future. 
Waiting for the parade.

  • Parent/Teacher conference at Daycare. Let me start by saying how much I love the boys' teacher. The boys adore him and I think he is an excellent male influence where the boys are lacking men in their lives. That being said, he told me in so many words that I am lazy (in regards to potty training), that my boys should be drinking out of regular cups (they do when seated at the table, otherwise they use sippy or straw cups), and that they need more work on eating with spoons and forks (using one hand). He's not wrong, but, as is true with many of my blog readers I imagine, being told I'm lazy stung a bit. I'm exhausted and trying to stay afloat on my own with them as my first priority and maintaining my household next.

    He also told me that he has witnessed the Dynamo get winded and have labored breathing when playing. I've seen this too and we have a doctor's appointment on Friday to see what's up. Hopefully it's not a big deal. Asthma and food allergies are related but it's Sweet Potato who has the allergies. More on this to follow. 

  • Garage Sale (Technically June 1st but including with May because the prep time involved took days before the sale.)  What a PAIN garage sales are! I did sell some things and made some money and got rid of some stuff (which, yes, is the point), but geesh.  And I parted with some momentos of infanthood which was a little difficult but necessary. 

So far June appears to be much calmer.  And I'm happy for that!  Job is still going great - I wonder how I ever managed not working from home after doing it for nearly three months.    

I'm dealing with some internal struggles, too, right now.  I need to get them out and write about them because I know you all can relate and always provide so much support.  I think I'm a little bit in denial but I'll share soon.  Putting it here is my reminder and this will make sure I do talk about it.