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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration, Colds, and Hope

January has been a month of sickness in our house, and I’m ready to move on to February! I caught a cold a couple weeks ago, that’s still lingering a bit, and now both boys have it. The poor guys hate when we use what I call the “nose picker” (a bulb suction thing) to suck the snot out of their noses. I don’t know why it freaks them out, but it does. For me, the cold was just annoying and nothing that kept me in bed. It seems the same for them.

The weather has cooperated with an entire week of temperatures in the 60s and 70s, while the Midwest and East suffered through an Arctic cold blast. We were able to enjoy being outdoors much of the weekend with trips to the park for swinging. Winter returns tomorrow though, but nothing too intense.

As the daily news seems to bring only bad news about the economy, one bright spot for our family this week was the inauguration of President Obama. I hadn’t intended to bring politics into this blog, but I imagine most people reading this tend toward the liberal side, as do we. Whether you agree with the politics or not, I would hope most people agree that this historic day was a turning point in American history, electing a black president. As we are a bi-racial (black/white) couple with bi-racial children, it brought tears of joy to my eyes to see a man racially equivalent to my children take the highest office in our country. To think that someday I can say to my children, “See the President? He’s just like you! You can go a high as you’re able in life.” I love their brown eyes, curly dark brown hair, and mocha skin that’s half way between our own skin tones. My hope is that racism isn’t as much of an issue for them as it has been for past generations. And with the election of President Obama, there is more Hope on the horizon for all GLBT families, that someday we might get the legal recognition we need!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New Year!

The holidays have come and gone and I’m ready for spring! I’m not a fan of winter at all, so I take note each day of the slowly increasing amount of daylight, hoping for warm days when I can get the boys out of the house. Luckily we get warm days here and there, so I was able to take them to the playground over the Christmas break and they enjoyed swinging in the infant swing.

I began the New Year in the emergency room with a nasty case of stomach flu. It was horrible, and I had to have an I.V. for rehydration. My main worry was that the babies’ would get it, but luckily they didn’t. But then we had to take one of the twins to the emergency room last week when he had a 101 fever. It turned out to be the “Hand/Foot/Mouth” virus, which I’d never heard of . He has blisters in his mouth that are obviously painful, but he’s doing much better now. Two nights in a row he was up every one to two hours crying, so we had a difficult weekend. He slept through the night last night, so he’s getting better. The doctor said the other twin would most likely get it too, but so far, no symptoms. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

As the boys have become mobile, parenting has begun a new phase. In the beginning, it’s just about feeding, changing diapers, - basically, keeping them alive and healthy. Now they do things we don’t want them to, like pulling leaves off a houseplant (I looked up our plants online to make sure they weren’t poisonous), pinching the dog, harassing the cat, finding tucked away cords to pull on, turning over the dog’s water dish, messing with the remotes, etc. So far neither boy seems to understand “no”, but I’m sure they’re beginning to recognize how often they hear that word! We say “no” and take them away from the situation, trying to minimize the temptations along the way with a minimalistic landscape in the house.

It’s amazing to see how fast they’ve grown from helpless newborns into little people who watch our every move and react to us. I believe leading and teaching by example is important, so I’m already working on my own behavior at the same time. For example, anger control. I grew up in a home where my mother raised her voice and yelled at us. I’m not talking about abuse, but sort of like George Costanza’s parents on Seinfeld. Sure, the Costanzas were funny, screaming back and forth at each other over nothing important, but that’s not something I need in my home! I’m practicing a calm demeanor in challenging situations and have already noticed that a calm voice helps sooth a crying baby. All parents experience anger toward each other at times, and again, remaining calm and keeping an even tone in the face of anger will set an example. “Serenity now”, and hopefully no insanity later! Parenting is a skill, and like all skills, practice makes perfect.