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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Big Changes

As the seasons seem to have changed the past week from warm to cooler weather, big changes have come to our family. I’ve finally found work, although it’s only an “open ended contract” and they can’t tell me how long it will go or whether it will become a permanent position. I’ll be a technical and marketing writer for a major healthcare insurance company. I think my unemployment benefits would end for good in January, so the timing is perfect. Some may say it’s luck, but I believe a higher power has intervened. Since daycare is so expensive for twins, and since Nick’s job reduced his pay by about 30% two years ago, I had to find work paying about 50% more than I was previously earning, and that’s exactly what this job pays. Coincidence? I don’t think it is. The odd thing is that my first day is next Monday, but I’m working from home. My new boss is supposed to send me work tomorrow, which seems very odd to me. After going through all the hassle and expense of getting the boys ready to start daycare, I really hope this works out. It’ll be great experience for me because the healthcare industry is a major hiring employer these days, and it’s difficult to break into the industry from outside.

We put the boys in a Montessori daycare, and they’ll be in a preschool environment with kids two to three years old. They seemed very excited to tour the school and see into the classrooms. They’ll be in separate classrooms which seems to be standard for twins. We both felt that it was really time for them to be in school based on their boredom and destructive behavior at home all day. Reid destroyed a large piece of artwork, a humidifier, and my checkbook all in one week recently! The school will potty train them, something I’ve been working on a little, but so far no success. Everyone I’ve talked to said that once kids go into daycare at this age, they see the other kids who are potty trained and want to do the same. So next Monday is our big day. Nick took the day off so he can observe them part of the day. I’m a little nervous about starting a job after all this time, but I need this too. At least we get to break in easy on a short week. I know I’ll miss them horribly, and they’ll miss me. Just the other day I was gone to the store and when I returned, they met me at the door, giving me hugs and kisses saying, “I miss you Papa!”

My parents are driving out for Thanksgiving and arriving Tuesday, so we have lots of preparations. I already put up the Christmas lights while it was warm to avoid the hassle once I’m working. Nick is preparing a full Turkey dinner and will probably make too much food as usual. The boys are getting excited and already have holidays confused since Christmas seems to precede Thanksgiving in the 21st Century. We went to a “Winter Welcome” last evening at our town center where they turned on all the lights and a huge Christmas tree, had a DJ, fire pits for s’mores, and lots of hot cocoa. Reid and Dylan danced around the tree among with all the other kids, thrilled by the lights.

I suppose I have a lot to be thankful for this year. A healthy family (my foot is healing remarkably fast according to the doctor), two beautiful boys, a loving partner, a wonderful home, good friends and neighbors, and a new job opportunity. I am truly blessed and thankful! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So, You Broke Your Foot!

Those are the words I received from the emergency room doctor 11 days ago. I’ve never broken a bone in my body, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. Did I break it scoring the winning goal in a soccer game? A bar-room brawl? A 50-yard dash? No, I ran up the stairs in our house. I somehow misjudged while taking two steps at a time. Just goes to show how fragile life (and feet) are.

Unfortunately for me, Nick was headed out of town the next day on a trip he had won through work, so there I was, alone with the boys for nine days with a throbbing, black and swollen foot. They told me to stay off of it for three days, keep it elevated, and use ice for the swelling. Of course none of those things happened. I go back later this week to see how it’s healing, so hopefully the boot they gave me to wear has done the trick. I couldn’t slow down at all, but in the past couple days the pain has disappeared, a good sign.

Nick didn’t get back until around 8 p.m. on Halloween, so it was all on me to take the boys trick-or-treating and then hand out 420 pieces of candy. Our neighborhood reminds me of my days of trick-or-treating back in the ‘70s before anyone was worried about razor blades in candy. I ran out of candy at 7:15 and could have probably handed out another 200 pieces. We had taken the boys to pick out costumes a couple weeks ago and Dylan chose Batman and Reid chose SuperWhy (he's a reading superhero on PBS weekday mornings). They practiced saying "trick-or-treat" for days, and knew that something was going down, although I don't think they knew exactly what. But it was fun to see them get so excited. After about two houses, they caught on fast and wanted to keep going to get more candy. It was a warm evening, so the boys and I handed out candy from the front porch after they were done trick-or-treating. But then they kept taking off, bothering the next door neighbors who were doing the same. It was stressful to keep up with them and make sure they didn’t get too far from me. But in the end, I suppose everything worked out and the boys understand what Halloween is all about. And they only ate candy for dinner, but I let them have fun.

Another thing that crossed my mind in the past week is how difficult it is to raise children with little to no help. Nick had called my parents, but it would have taken them several days to get here (my mother is incapable of leaving home without a full 20 days to plan and pack) and neither my father nor mother walks dogs, changes diapers, cooks, or cleans, so what would the point have been for them to bother coming here? I’ve still never met Nick’s mom, and she’s never been here to see her grandkids. All the neighbors were busy on Halloween, so really no one was able to help out. I just sucked it up and took it one day at a time.

I can’t believe it’s only three weeks until Thanksgiving. We’ll have no family here for the holiday, so I’m going to start checking around and see if our gay parent couple friends are interested in getting together. Holidays are much more fun with laughter, friends, and even more children.

One final note. I HAVE to watch Oprah today with Ricky Martin. I’m mostly curious to see how he deals with his twin boys. They were conceived in the same clinic as our boys, and at about the same time. I’m sure he has a nanny or two, but his story should be interesting.