The Year That I Forgot How Old I Was and We Ended Up With Twins

It was a few days before my birthday in May 2008 and Scott and I had the following conversation.

J: I can’t believe I am turning 35 this weekend.
S: What?!?
J: Yeah, 35 is so old.
S: Are you kidding? You are already 35.
J: No, I am 34…wait I am 35. Oh no.

I had been procrastinating and I had given myself a deadline of my birthday to make a decision – were we going to have another child?

I think that most people assumed that we were always planning to have more children after Juliana, but that wasn’t the case. I wasn’t young when Juliana was born and I hated being pregnant. Juliana was such a good baby and toddler, but children are a lot of work. I loved being Juliana’s mom and maybe our family of three was enough.

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My birthday deadline had arrived and brought with it the news that I was a year older than I thought I was so the decision was even more urgent in my mind. The “advanced maternal age” line had passed a year before and time was not on my side.

So after thinking about it for a few weeks, I told Scott that I wanted to have another child. And while I was still getting used to the idea, I was quickly pregnant. Morning sickness had already hit when I went to the Dr for my 5-week confirmation appointment and one of the first things I said was, “At the top of my chart I want you to write the following: Repeat C-section and tubal ligation. Because we are only having two children.”

Three weeks later we found out that I was pregnant with twins and I spent the rest of my pregnancy getting used to the idea and then they were suddenly here. Life on my birthday in 2009 was very different than the previous year.

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Life happens fast – those babies are almost done with Kindergarten and my little girl is going to be as tall as me before I know it.

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Work, Life and Trying Not to Fall Over

Last fall I started the planning process for a new project. A steering team was assembled and a kick-off meeting was scheduled for the first week of December. The team spent 3 days with consultants and we left with a long list of requirements for the new project. We continued streamlining the project plan and prepared a timeline to complete the project by July first and presented it to management and that’s when the plan changed…drastically. The week before Christmas, we reshuffled the requirements, agreed to new priorities and accepted a project deadline cut by 60 days. Suddenly this project was dubbed a high priority for the company and needed to be done faster than was reasonably possible.

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I spent the first week of January in a conference room with consultants finalizing project requirements and writing specifications.

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My new boss started the second week of January. For the first time in over five years my direct supervisor is in the same city as me.

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My new work schedule started the third week of January. After 10 years of working in a home office, I was suddenly required to start working at the office. Fortunately I was able to transition to part time in the office and continue to work from home several days each week as well but it has still been a huge adjustment.

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Summary: Over a one month time period I ended up managing a highly visible project where the project timeline was cut from six months to four months with no change in scope, I got a new boss and my work schedule changed to involve a one-hour commute each way several days a week.

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The children did not respond well to the change, the boys would immediately start crying if they woke up and saw that I was dressed up for the office. My office hours were long. Over the first few months of the year, the boys were ready for bed when I walked in the door after work. I would tuck them in, change my clothes, and soon be back at my computer to keep working.

After the first month on the new schedule, I decided that I needed to go into the office later in the morning. Instead of leaving the house by 6:30, I changed my morning so that I get the kids up and dressed before I leave the house and I try to leave by 7:00 instead. That seems to have helped the morning routine so that the children see me each morning before school. They still aren’t happy that I am leaving because they know that I won’t be home when they get home from school.

The second half of February and March and April were a blur. I worked a good chunk of every weekend and until midnight many nights during the week. I knew things were bad when I was excited about nights that would include 6 hours of sleep.

The months of long hours paid off and my project launched on time and was considered a success. Juliana knew about my deadline and the next morning she asked if I would be able to work at home all the time again since the big project was over – sadly no – it’s interesting that she combined them into one event.

Since the second week of May I have been scaling back to more reasonable hours. I am no longer staying at the office until 6:30/7:00 and when I come home I am not working in the evenings. Weekends have been returned to family time and eventually I will catch up on all of the neglected home projects.

Since the project ended, we have filled our weekends with fun! The first of many trips to Kennywood for the summer.

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Several Pirates games.

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Breakfast at school for Mother’s Day.

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Planting flowers together.

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Over the next few weeks there will be field trips and Kindergarten graduation and the start of the summer schedule which will mean more adjustments and we will squeeze in as much family fun as possible.

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Weeknight Birthday Parties are My New Favorite Thing

The boys sixth birthday party was at Chuck E Cheese on a Tuesday night. Why a Tuesday night?
1 – The boys could not agree on a location for their birthday – they declined every idea that I provided and couldn’t come up with anything that they really wanted.
2 – By the time they agreed to a few options it was too late to book most of them anytime close to their birthday.
3 – Chuck E Cheese was fully booked for that weekend but there were weeknights available.
4 – If you are going to have a party at Chuck E Cheese, the weekends are awful so I was intrigued by the possibility of a quieter weeknight. It turned out that we were the only party and there were approximately 5 children there who were not part of our party. So we basically had the place to ourselves.
5 – Since we were inviting two full classes of Kindergarteners, I thought the attendance might be lighter on a weeknight. I’m not sure that was the case, we ended up with more children then we originally expected.

They had a great time playing with their friends.
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And Scott and I joined in on the fun with tiny air hockey, skee-ball and of course head-to-head basketball (the best part of Chuck E Cheese).
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They posed with the Big Cheese. In the second picture, Ruslan is looking into the mask and yelling – Hey there is a person in there! And Wyatt is petting the Mouse’s head.

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Then it was time for the ticket blaster which is always fun. A wild time of trying to catch flying tickets, especially the 1,000 ticket card, and the loud yelling of their friends. Another successful birthday party done.
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Dramatic and Inventive

There are always a few gems in the stack of Mother’s Day projects. This list from Juliana is one of my favorites.

It is titled “I Am Poem” and it covers a range of emotions.

I hear Butterfly’s Wings Flap and I touch The Sun’s Beams and I see the future.

I wonder how people make chocolate so good and I want an endless supply of chocolate.

I pretend to play at the beach and I dream for a longer summer.

I worry about my grades and I cry when my feelings are hurt and I understand that life isn’t fair and I try to work hard in school.

I feel happy and I am dramatic and inventive. – these words are a perfect summary of Juliana right now.

And of course she is ready for Miss America with I hope for world peace.
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How Do You Do It Mom

I was unloading the dishwasher Saturday afternon and Juliana was sitting at the kitchen table eating a snack. She looked up and said, “How do you do it Mom?” How do I do what I replied. “How are you such a good mom? You always give us what we need without asking. You always seem to know what we want before we do.”

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Friday evening, Wyatt and I were walking to the Pirates game and he was holding my hand and bouncing down the sidewalk next to me. I mentioned that he had a lot of energy and reminded him that there would be a lot of walking that evening. He told me that he has more energy in May than any other month because of Mother’s Day because he loves his mama so much and that gives him extra energy.

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It was a busy weekend with a series of dates. Wyatt and I went to the Pirates game Friday night and he had so much energy that we only watched the first two innings of the game from our seats and then we watched the rest from the rotunda. He had lots of space to bounce around and occasionally joined me at the railing to watch some of the game.

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Saturday evening I went shopping and to dinner with my mom and Juliana. We all got some new clothes for the summer and then had hibachi for dinner.

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At the same time, Scott and Ruslan were at the Pirates game. They had a great time and stayed through the entire game and fireworks.

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There were also lots of school crafts for me. Wyatt couldn’t open his backpack fast enough to give me his card while yelling that he couldn’t wait until Sunday. I spent lot of time with my children this weekend and even had a few hours of alone time on Sunday. It was a good weekend.

Growing Theater

Juliana had a minor virus the third week of third grade and missed two days of school. Open house fell on one of those nights so she wasn’t with us when her teacher told me that Juliana would be missing the introduction to Growing Theater. He said that this program was practically made for . . . → Read More: Growing Theater

6.0 Times Two

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I could sit and listen to the two of them talk for hours. They go from idle chatter to fighting to laughing to arguing to happily playing together. There are injuries and hurt feelings every day, but most of all they love each other and would rather be together than apart. These two boys . . . → Read More: 6.0 Times Two

Not Your Typical Love Song

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Do you and your significant other have a song? Whether it was the song that played for your first dance on your wedding day or a song that reminds you of the time period when you first met; it’s a song that makes you think of each other.

Scott and I have a song, . . . → Read More: Not Your Typical Love Song

The Long Easter Weekend

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Tomorrow will be the final day of the 5-day weekend for the children. Juliana told me that she wishes that there was school tomorrow, so either the last 4 days have been boring or too much fun – let’s go with the later.

Although I wasn’t able to take any time off work, we . . . → Read More: The Long Easter Weekend

We Aren’t Getting Married Until We Are 29

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The week before parent-teacher conferences we received a paper from school with suggested questions and topics that we might want to cover in our conferences. I have a good relationships with all 3 teachers and if there are any issues I know about them so I don’t have a lot of questions at conference . . . → Read More: We Aren’t Getting Married Until We Are 29