I think that using Twitter, which I love, has made me blog less. I could write whole posts about life's happenings... or I could just write 140 characters and move on with it. Guess which is easier? Guess which I'm more likely to do?
But many people don't use Twitter, and I'm in the mood to talk about all the little things that have been taking up space in my head lately. Bullet points it is!
- This Christmas was Camilla's most exciting so far. It was heart-warming to see her joy in everything related to the holiday. We had a full day - breakfast, stockings, Mass, presents with my family, then dinner, stockings, and presents with Bryan's parents - and her enthusiasm never waned. She had just as much excitement for the Go Fish game she unwrapped at 6pm as she did for the delivery of her first stocking at 9am. So sweet, and so much fun to watch.
- Here's a weird thing for me, though: this year, Camilla got into the idea of Santa. We're not doing Santa in our family (I'm not ANTI-Santa, it's just not for us) but Daniel believes in Santa and I've told Camilla it's a story that some families like to tell at Christmas, and that she is not to burst anyone's bubble. Well, she's still young and very credulous and I think she believes pretty much every story she hears. (For instance, I recently mentioned that Sal in Blueberries for Sal is not a real person, and she was shocked.) So when Bryan's aunt and uncle sent a special "Cookies for Santa" plate and mug and Daniel was leaving cookies for Santa, Camilla wanted to do it too. And we let her, because why not? But doing Santa just feels unnatural to me. It wasn't a part of my childhood (and I don't feel AT ALL deprived by that, by the way) and there are some aspects of it that I'm uncomfortable with (specifically, the idea that you get gifts as a reward for being "good", and the idea that you should ask Santa for the things you want and he'll bring them, instead of gifts being understood to be the result of people's generosity and love for you) (I know that not everyone incorporates those aspects of Santa, but they seem to be pretty common generally). Bryan and I are on the same page on this, so we are not going to give in and perpetuate the Santa myth. But I flat-out said to Camilla, "You know Santa is just a story, right? That means he's not real?" and she said yes. But then I asked, "So do you think he's coming tonight?" and she said yes. Obviously cognitive dissonance is not a problem with four-year-olds. (And obviously it's not a problem with us, either, because we ate the stupid cookies and dumped the milk, thus "proving" Santa's existence. D'oh.)
- Honestly, the whole Santa thing is not a huge deal to me either way. I really dislike it when people get all snotty about "we always tell the TRUTH to our kids" (as IF. Show me a parent who truly does that) but I am also majorly bugged when people express the strong opinion that you should not DEPRIVE your children of Santa, because it's such a magical part of childhood. I never believed in Santa and I always adored Christmas. At age sixteen when my friends were basically just concerned about whether they were going to find the newest gadget or expensive piece of clothing under the tree, I was still entranced by the whole holiday: the lights and the tree and the carols and the cookies and the gift-giving and Christmas morning Mass were magical to me. I'm 28 and they still are. No Santa necessary for that. So CHILL, people.
- However, I missed Mass this year on Christmas, for the first time I can remember. I pushed myself hard on the 23rd and 24th to finish everything, and by the morning of the 25th I was a wreck. My body was ordering me to slow down. So I did, and I napped while everyone went to Mass, and then made it through the rest of the day okay. I was sad to miss it, but I have to make good decisions.
- Interestingly - and related to the slowing-down thing - my new doctor told me that if we continue to see a growth discrepancy between the twins, they would put me on bed rest. I had thought bed rest was only for threatened early labor, but apparently often if a baby is being deprived of nutrients, being horizontal can increase blood flow to the placenta and help solve the problem. Who knew? And since Baby B's cord is attached to the end of the placenta and she's already behind Baby A growth-wise, we could very well face nutrient-delivery problems with her. When the doctor told me about the possible bed rest, it was a lightbulb moment for me. One of the things that Dr. Luke talks about in her twin book is listening to your body and resting when it tells you to, but I'd been feeling my body was telling me to rest WAY too often for this stage of pregnancy. At 14, 15 weeks I'm usually feeling great and pretty much back to normal, activity-wise. But if there are vascular issues going on, maybe my body knows! Maybe my body is telling me to lie down for a REASON. Craziness. Gonna have to start listening a little better.
- I recently read this very encouraging thread at Looky, Daddy! (I miss that blog so much) where many moms of multiples shared their success stories. It was good for my mental health to read about all those good outcomes. Especially since - although it's easy to get caught up in thinking otherwise - we actually have good odds of this pregnancy going well. I'm tall, big, healthy, gaining weight well, and (most importantly) have had two previous successful full-term pregnancies. The twins' monochorionicity is the only significant risk factor, and it could very easily turn out to be no problem at all. Gotta keep reminding myself of that.
- But (and this is the reason I brought up the thread) one of the things I noticed was many women saying their doctors scheduled c-sections for their twin pregnancies because baby B was breech, even though baby A was head-down. What I want to know is: is that the norm? My doctors are maternal-fetal medicine specialists who deliver multiples pregnancies regularly, and the one I first consulted with told me that they happily do vaginal deliveries if the second baby is breech. In fact, she said they prefer it, since "we can just reach in and pull him out by his legs!" which means they can get the baby out more quickly and run less risk of something going wrong. (Not surprisingly, monochorionic twin deliveries are riskier, since once you've cut the first cord it can change the blood flow to the placenta and cause problems with the second baby.) That made sense to me, but lots of women on the thread were talking about how they had to have c-sections because the second baby was breech, so I just wondered. Twin moms, please share your experience!
- Random but interesting: ultrasound tech at the doc's office told us they currently have THREE patients carrying spontaneous triplets. (She said the vast majority of triplets they see are assisted.) What are the odds of that?
- I talk about this a lot on Twitter (because it's on my mind a lot) but twin pregnancy is so weird. I'm 15 weeks pregnant now, and totally thrilled because I've gained almost 20lbs already. I gained less than that, total, in my entire pregnancy with Blaise, and honestly never thought about it. But I've been working so hard to stuff food into myself, and I've heard that once the babies get bigger and your stomach gets smaller it's difficult to eat enough to gain weight, so I'm thrilled that it's happening now. I actually feel a little frisson of joy when I step on the scale and the number is HIGHER than it was last time. Bizarre, I'm telling you.
- I love clementines and so does Blaise. "Clem-tines" he calls them, which I think is pretty good pronunciation for a not-yet-two-year-old. But he does pronounce things very well (he asks, for instance, for "JOO-SE" quite clearly). Camilla was the same way and I thought it was just random but I've recently decided that maybe it's proof that the whole straw-cup thing is true. We use straw cups for our toddlers even though they leak much more than sippies, because I read somewhere when Camilla was a baby that occupational therapists recommend straws for developing fine motor skills in the mouth. We started buying sippies (because of the leaking thing) when she was about two, but when Blaise was old enough for cups we made sure to give him straws always. And so both of my kids have used straw cups pretty much exclusively from 6mos to 24mos, and they are good at pronouncing things. My sister's little boy Matthew is six months older than Blaise and WAY more advanced verbally, but his pronunciation is much less comprehensible. It could be a total coincidence. Or it could be the STRAW CUPS OF AWESOMENESS. (We like these ones.)
- Okay, one last thing. On Christmas Eve some of Bryan's relatives were over for the evening, the kids were in bed, and Bryan was putting together Blaise's big gift (this shopping cart). And Bryan's uncle started giving me a hard time for giving our son a "girly gift". I was, honestly, SHOCKED. I mean, it's a toy shopping cart. What is this, 1950? Only women belong in grocery stores? Idiocy. So of course I had to egg him on by telling him that Blaise also plays happily with dolls and our toy kitchen. (The reason we got the shopping cart in the first place is that Blaise loves the doll stroller, but gets annoyed that it won't hold enough stuff.) And he told me that we need to let him watch more ESPN (as if) and I laughed and snarked back, but I really was taken aback. I mean, I expect my husband to be proficient with babies and do his part in the kitchen, and he does - aren't dolls and a toy kitchen sort of the precursor to that? Yes?