Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coming Full Circle

What you are about to read may be disturbing. Or, if you're a parent of a toddler (or parent of a former toddler, or even just met a toddler), I know you'll understand. 

A few months ago, Grace started asking if she could wear her PJs beyond just bedtime. It was pretty cold in the house and well, I work from home, so who am I to judge? (Says the lady rocking some snowflake pants as she types). 

So, I said yes. And what happened after that was a downward spiral the likes of which George Costanza couldn't even imagine. 

She now wears her PJs every opportunity she gets. She knows she's not allowed to wear them when we leave the house, but the moment we walk in the back door, she's stripping off her clothes and searching for her "jammies." 

It doesn't really bother me. She's found what's comfortable and she sticking with it. And you're only three for so long. After that, it's pants this and shirts that. Well, that is until you're 30 and work from home, then it's jammies all over again. 

Although we have several pairs of PJs, the purple dog jammies are the clear favorite. When they need to be washed, she begrudgingly puts on a different pair. 

If you were wondering, Claire is much more civilized and prefers to wear her PJs only at bedtime. Except when she's wearing Mom's hat, a blanket cape and her star sunglasses. Then, jammies are game on. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

First Day of Preschool

They were a little shell-shocked, but not a single tear when we dropped them off this morning. Well, not a single tear from them. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Big Day

Tomorrow is a very big day. 

A HUGE day, in fact. 

Tomorrow is the first day of preschool. 

It's been months in the coming, but I've mostly put it out of my mind because, although I know it will be great for them and great for balancing work and home life, if I think about it for too long, it starts to feel like there is an elephant sitting on my chest. 

But now, it's right in front of me. No more pushing it to the side.

Tomorrow, I will drop the girls off at a relatively strange place, leave them in the care of people who I trust, but really don't know, and walk out of the building.  

The girls are fully prepped on the situation, but a couple of weeks ago, Claire made the connection that Moms and Dads don't stay at the school with their kids. After a couple minutes of quietly processing that, she whispered, "But you will leave me and I won't like that."

That makes two of us. 

I used to be a preschool teacher and this preschool is really great, so I know they will make friends, explore, create and have adventures. And I am, truly, from the bottom of my heart, excited for them. 

And I know how much easier this will make my work life. I'll have a solid half of the day to work completely uninterrupted or distracted. Then, I'll pick them up, feed them lunch and have the rest of the afternoon to work while they nap. Balancing the girls and work can sometimes be very stressful, and this will alleviate so much of that. 

But I still can't shake the other part. At least not yet. 

I'm still just a Mama missing her babies. 


A couple of disclaimers:
**There are so many parents out there who had to make this transition when their babies were actually still babies. And I know (like really know) how lucky I am to have had them home with me until now. 
**They will only go half days, Monday through Thursday, so I also know how incredibly lucky I am to work from home and have the flexibility to do part-time preschool. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Moments Like These

Just can't stop looking at this picture. 

(And wishing it happened more often.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Playroom: Extreme Makeover

A week or so before Christmas, my sister and brother-in-law approached me about  a very unique gift for the girls: they wanted to do some extreme-makeovering with our playroom. Since we moved in 10 months ago, I've wanted to do some fun things with the room, but I've never had the extra time or energy to get the job done.  So, in reality, it was a present for me, too. 

They, alongside my brother Tim, added some much-needed flair to the room. They did the drawing, painting and building all from scratch. 

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. 



HUGE thanks to Carrie, Nate and Tim for all of their hard work and generosity. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Birthday Surprise

Dec. 26: An infamous day around these parts. Three years ago on that day, Scott and I conquered a blizzard to get to the hospital to have our sweet girls. Earlier that morning, I begged Scott to let me change Grace's name from Campbell to Grace. I was the one who chose Campbell, and although I still like it, it didn't feel right. How do you say no to your wife who is nine months pregnant and about to push out two babies? You don't. 

After the girls were born and the nice nurses were filling out the name card, they asked for a middle name. Uhhhhhhh. We had picked Reese as a middle name for Campbell, but Grace Reese didn't have the ring I was looking for. So, high on an extra dose from the epidural, we chose Madeline -- a beautiful name that I don't regret one bit. But she was lucky -- that extra dose could have resulted in Helga. 

Three years later and I'm having arguments about whether it's still Christmas and packing extra underwear for the road. (For them, not me.) 

These past three years have been the most exceptional three years of my entire life. I have never experienced more joy, pride, love and frustration. I'm so excited to keep watching them grow and change and learn new ways to love them every day. 

For their actual birthday, we surprised them and my niece Bella with a trip to a nearby discovery center. They had so much fun. Nearly as much fun as I was having three years ago. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Many Days of Christmas

The Christmas present giving started on the Friday before and continued until Christmas day. So, it's no wonder that on the day after, the girls ran downstairs to see where their presents were. 

There was no convincing them that Christmas was over. Especially since in the fall when I was trying to explain to Claire when Christmas was, I told her "when it snows, it will be Christmas." At the time, it seemed like a harmless explanation. 

Now, 14 days later there is still snow on the ground. And 14 days later, I'm still trying to convince Claire that Christmas is over. 

The day before Christmas Eve, we paid Santa a visit at the mall. Last year, Grace couldn't hug me any tighter when I tried to get her to sit on his lap. This year, they both went willingly. My niece, Cambri, wasn't quite ready to let go of her Mom. And although my girls are putting on a brave face, I know they felt better with Heather sitting there. We also took the opportunity to snap some family pictures. 

Later that day, we traveled to see Scott's side of the family and it was wonderful. We made great memories playing, eating and driving around looking at Christmas lights. 

This was the girls' first Christmas really understanding the concept of Santa and he brought them exactly what they asked for. (Grace asked for a baby and Claire asked for a cat that could fit in a train). Ok, so it wasn't exactly what Claire asked for -- the cat was slightly bigger than the train, but with such a unique request, it was the best Santa could do. And Santa surprised them with an easel that has both delighted them and caused about 172 fights since Christmas. 

After we opened gifts, we headed over to my family's house where we also had a wonderful time. We exchanged presents, laughed, cried and ate a delicious Christmas feast. 

It was a very Merry Christmas. 

Coming soon to a blog near you: Part III: A Birthday Surprise